The Importance of Sun Protection For Your Eyes

stylish smiling woman in yellow blouse wearing sunglasses, colorful summer fashion trendOur vision plays a vital role in our ability to complete everyday tasks and enjoy many activities. Along with many medical and health conditions that can affect vision, the sun can also significantly affect your eyes’ health. This does not mean you need to stay inside or keep from enjoying outdoor activities.

Understanding how your eyes focus on images and light to give the sense of sight can help you know how easily the sun can cause damage to many structures and parts of your eyes.

The lenses on the front of each eyeball focus images and light into a tiny area on the retina at the back of your eye. This is similar to how a magnifying glass or other handheld lens enlarges or shrinks images viewed through them.

Similarly, the focusing of the light can significantly increase the intensity of the energy and heat, just like how sunlight can be focused through a magnifying glass and increase in intensity to burn wood or start a fire. This focusing through the eyes’ lenses can quickly damage the delicate cells and structure within.

Although some sun exposure only causes temporary impairment of vision, the damage caused by the sun has a cumulative effect and, if not prevented, can permanently affect your ability to see clearly.

Avoidance of sun exposure is the best way to prevent damage. However, that does not mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors. By wearing sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays, you can minimize the effects of the sun on your eyes.

It is important to remember these ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes regardless of the time of year or how bright it is outside.

A regular eye exam can help determine if the damage is starting to occur within your eyes before it starts to affect your vision. Schedule an eye exam at The Eye Clinic in Portland, OR by calling 503-297-4718 or visiting

Posted in: Eye Care

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