Without realizing it, we may expose our eyes to danger every day, simply by going outside. Over time, the sun’s rays can seriously damage the eyes and surrounding skin, leading to vision loss and conditions from cataracts and macular degeneration to eye and eyelid cancers.
Although the eyelid is designed to protect the eye, its skin is exceedingly thin and contains many fragile tissues that may be injured by UV light. Inside the eye, the lens and the cornea, both transparent, filter UV rays, but by doing so for many years, they may become damaged. This is especially true for the lens, which through years of UV absorption, turns yellowish and cataractous.
Children’s eyes differ from adults’ in that children’s ocular lenses cannot filter UV light and prevent it from reaching their retinas as effectively as adults’ ocular lenses. In simple terms, the lens inside a child's eye is clearer than an adult's lens, therefore enabling more UV to penetrate deep into the eye. This results in children’s retinas being exposed to more UV light and susceptible to retinal damage if they are not adequately protected. As UV exposure is cumulative, it is important to begin protection at an early age. Over a lifetime, damage from unprotected exposure to UV rays can lead to eye diseases and conditions that will affect the health of the eyes and vision.
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