Sunlight Can Increase the Risk of Cataracts: Here’s Why

We have all been warned about the dangers of the sun to our skin, but there is another part of our body to protect from the sun: our eyes. Cataracts caused by excessive sun exposure are a possibility that is not limited to any one age group; everyone is at risk of developing these types of cataracts, so it’s important to understand the causes and preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk.

A cataract is the fogging of an eye’s natural lens. It can occur in anyone, however cataracts most commonly occur in people over the age of 60 as a result of aging. If not properly treated, cataracts are the most common cause of blindness.

How Does Sunlight Affect the Development of Cataracts?

The main thing to worry about is long-term exposure of sunlight on your eyes without adequate protection. Not only will proper protection measures help prevent cataracts, but they can also work to prevent cancer in the eyes. It is vital to take the proper steps to protect your eyes, especially if you are taking a trip to the beach or anywhere else where it is likely you’ll encounter high UV exposure. The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests the following:

  • Always wear substantial sunglasses that block out UV rays and hats that offer coverage whenever you’re outside.
  • The sun can be just as powerful through the clouds; remember that you should still take precaution.
  • Looking directly at the sun is never, ever a good idea.
  • Again, everyone is at risk for cataracts and other medical consequences of lengthy sun exposure. Don’t forget children and people of all ages.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Cataracts?

If you think you are beginning to develop cataracts, take comfort in the fact that you do have options for treatment. At Eye Care of Delaware, we can tailor the right cataract treatment approach based on your needs. Our office and surgery center are located in Newark, Delaware, serving patients in cities across Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Call us at 302-454-8800 to begin the process of revitalizing your vision.