Unexpected things that can affect your vision
by: Denise Malloy
Johnny Nash once sang, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,” but a lot more things than a rainy day can affect your eyesight. Some of those things are surprising, yet they can lead to long-term issues with your vision and the health of your eyes.
UV exposure — in winter?
Many people remember to wear sunglasses during the summer, but UV exposure can have serious effects on your vision throughout the year. Some people might assume our climate minimizes the damage, but it’s the opposite, says Dr. Robert Ryan, optometrist at the University of Rochester’s Flaum Eye Institute. Ryan says our proximity to water and our winter weather conditions tend to amplify the problem. Bodies of water and our (usually) snowy ground cover reflect UV rays.
Skiing on a bright sunny day without UV protection can also cause snow blindness, a temporary condition that nonetheless can damage the cornea, says Dr. Steven Rose, ophthalmologist and retinal specialist with Retina Associates of Western New York. The easy solution: UV-filtering polarized sunglasses throughout the year.
Another hazard related to our climate: UV exposure from tanning beds. Ryan points out that tanning beds can actually burn the surface of your eyes. And UV exposure from tanning beds can lead to serious eye-related problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. Cataracts, which grow progressively worse, cause blurred vision; untreated, they can lead to vision loss. If you choose to use a tanning bed or even sunbathe, Ryan says it’s critical to use eye protection.
You know that too much screen time isn’t good, but new research shows it may be even more harmful than previously thought.
Rose says blue light, the main light from screens, is the latest concern. We’re exposed to it during the day from sunlight, and that might not be so harmful. But getting more at night — from the close range of phones and other screens — is the new concern……
Source: Democrat & Chronical