Can UV Light Damage Your Eyes?

Canada is full of outdoors enthusiasts. Whether relaxing, exercising or just working in the sun, there are some important factors to keep in mind. This includes those who enjoy indoor tanning beds especially.

Indoors or out, people are exposing themselves to ultraviolet (UV) rays to an unprecedented degree. With the increased penetration of UV rays in our atmosphere today, outdoor exposure is not so different from the UV-rich, indoor tanning beds that have been the subject of much debate.

This is true of cloudy days as much as sunny ones. Don’t forget that water and snow environments, as well as higher elevations, also demand UV protection.

Significant exposure to these UV rays can damage your retina, cornea and can cause cataracts or macular degeneration. Ensure that you wear UV-protected sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors for a prolonged time. Sterilized protective goggles are essential for any duration of indoor tanning. In any environment, closing your eyes is no protection from UV, and there is no substitute for proper UV-blocking eyewear.

All content is provided for education and information, and is no substitute for the advice of your optometrist. This information is provided courtesy of the British Columbia Association of Optometrists (B.C.A.O.). The B.C.A.O. assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any errors or omissions or from the use of any information contained herein.