Exposure to solar radiation can damage our eyes, but we have ways to protect ourselves that are simple and effective. We will tell you in this article how to prevent eye injuries from the sun.
Most people think about the damage that the sun’s rays can cause to their skin and buy sun blockers, bronzers and creams that avoid as much as possible the terrible burns and injuries that summer often brings us. However, very few take care of the incidence of solar radiation in our eyes.
Have you not felt irritated eyes or a certain tearing after a delicious day at the beach? Well, continue reading this article and you will find out how solar radiation affects our eyes.
What is solar radiation?
The solar radiations are those electromagnetic waves emitted by the sun whose spectrum ranges from infrared to ultraviolet. Most of these rays are absorbed by the components of our atmosphere; but the rest comes to us by regulating the temperature of the Earth, allowing the growth and development of plants and microorganisms and the production of crops, among many other benefits.
In the case of human beings, sunlight plays a fundamental role in our lives. In addition, it is responsible for us to produce vitamin D, which regulates the incorporation of calcium in the bones.
However, these radiations can also be harmful to health. In particular, they can damage the skin and eyes if we overexpose ourselves to it.
In the case of the latter, ultraviolet radiation, which comprises wavelengths between 150 and 400 nm., Although visible radiation (from 400 to 780 nm) and infrared radiation (from 780 to 1400 nm) also have a higher incidence. they can have negative effects.
How does solar radiation affect our eyes?
In the following paragraphs we will try to answer the question about how solar radiation affects our eyes, following the information published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In addition, we will alert you to the importance of implementing the appropriate measures to avoid temporary or permanent damage.
1. Eye burns.
Due to overexposure to the sun’s rays, either directly or indirectly —their reflections on water, ice or snow, our eyes suffer burns of varying degrees of severity.
The cornea, lens and retina are especially sensitive to the sun. The main symptoms of burns are:
- Sensation of having sand in the eyes.
- Blurry vision.
- Sight loss.
Faced with a problem like this, as well as any of those that we will list below, the main measure is to go to the ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Natural remedies cannot heal burns, and burns must be treated to prevent further damage.
As a result of excessive exposure to sunlight, this painful inflammation occurs in the eyes. The ophthalmia of the snow turns out to be the most common, caused by the reflection of the sun on snow and ice. The main symptoms of ophthalmia are:
- Temporary blindness.
- Inflamed eyelids.
- Pain in the light.
The sun’s rays turn out to be the triggering agent that causes excessive growth of tissue on the cornea in people with a genetic predisposition to this condition. The main symptoms of pterygium are:
- Foreign body sensation in the eye.
People who suffer from this disease suffer from a gradual darkening of the lens of the eye. In this way, your visual acuity decreases and you can even reach a total loss of vision.
In people who already have cataracts, these radiations cause discomfort and glare. The main symptoms of cataracts are:
- Progressive decrease in distant vision.
- Cloudy or blurred or blotchy vision.
- Black spots.
The eye is a very sensitive organ; Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause cancer cells to proliferate and lead to benign or malignant tumors.
There are no specific symptoms, so if you notice lumps, discoloration, or discomfort in your eyes, go to your doctor immediately.
What to do to protect our eyes from solar radiation?
Although we have natural protection mechanisms against the sun’s rays, such as the contraction of the eyelids and pupils and the filtering of light that the lens of the eye performs, they are not enough to protect us.
That is why specialists recommend taking the following measures to keep our eyes healthy:
- Avoid exposing yourself to sunlight from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as this is the period when radiation is most aggressive.
- Use glasses or lenses with a 99% – 100% protection index against ultraviolet rays. Make sure they have the CE distinctive seal.
- Do not wear sunglasses if you don’t have to, and never do so in dark places, since by forcing the pupil to dilate unnecessarily you can often develop long – term photophobia and become hypersensitive to sunlight.
- Go to the ophthalmologist once a year.
3 remedies to protect our eyes from solar radiation.
After a delicious day at the beach, even if you’ve protected yourself, the heat may irritate your eyes. In circumstances like this, the following home remedies may offer some relief.
Remember, however, that none of these alternatives can replace professional treatment in the case of more serious eye problems.
Remedy # 1: Aloe vera against inflammation.
Various studies refer to the possible properties of aloe when added to medications to treat eye problems, such as conjunctivitis. However, the natural remedy that we will present here is mainly linked to traditional medicine, and there is no scientific evidence that fully supports its effectiveness.
The indications for use extended over time recommend cutting the aloe vera leaf into large pieces and moistening a cotton ball in the transparent liquid that the plant secretes.
You will gently wipe this cotton over the affected eyelid twice a day: morning and night. Wait a few minutes and rinse with chamomile or rose water. Repeat the treatment until you are relieved.
Remedy # 2: tomato against pain.
According to popular beliefs, the tomato can be effective for burns because of its high-water content. Put a slice of fresh tomato in each eye for 5 minutes three times a day and, in theory, your inflammation will subside.
For serious eye problems, remember that you should consult with the specialist instead of resorting to these remedies without further ado.