In association with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the doctors and staff of Connecticut Eye Consultants want to remind you and your family of the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in preventing vision loss from cataracts.
July is UV Safety Month, so we’re encouraging everyone, regardless of age, to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye evaluation with your primary eye care doctor. By doing so, your optometrist will be able to thoroughly evaluate and analyze your visual system for common age-related disease and potential loss from cataracts and other refractive issues.
Being out in the sun is fun; however, long-term exposure to bright light may increase the risk of cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. When UV rays hit the sand or water, they are reflected and can cause the eyes to sunburn – a symptom called photokeratitis.
Some will shake off the “sunburn” of the eyes, but this can result in temporary blindness in just a few hours. Additional symptoms include a “shards of glass” feeling in the eyes, redness, blurry vision, and sensitivity to bright light.
Similar to a sunburn on your skin, UV rays can cause inflammation to your eyes (cornea). Whether the exposure to light was by reflections from the sun (in water or snow), extended use in a tanning bed, or by halogen or indoor fluorescent bulbs, these can all have the same dangerous effect.
Furthermore, photokeratitis typically isn’t permanent, and the discomfort can usually be treated by over-the-counter eye drops, antibiotic eye drops, or ointment recommended by an ophthalmologist.
Although this symptom of extended sun exposure is treatable, Connecticut Eye Consultants recommends that you protect your eyes every day. With the use of UV-blocking sunglasses or swamping your indoor bulbs for UV-free options.
The good news is that by being aware of your eye health and getting regular eye exams, you and your eye doctor will be able to understand better when cataract development or other refractive issues pose a risk to you or your family.
At Connecticut Eye Consultants, we are passionate about helping you enjoy a lifetime of the best possible vision through protection, preservation, and restoration of your precious gift of sight. If you do not have a primary eye care provider (optometrist), we have set aside times throughout the month for patients to come in for a comprehensive evaluation.
If your vision has been of concern lately, please call our office today at (203) 791.2020 to schedule your evaluation or visit your local optometrist to protect your vision during UV Safety Month!