June 27, 2016

by Mankato Clinic

From protecting you from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and cataracts, sunglasses do more than just help keep the sun out of your eyes.

You may not know it, but whether it’s sunny, or the middle of winter, stepping outside without proper eye protection can actually carry serious vision risk.

Just as the sun’s UV rays can cause sun burns and skin cancer, they’re also strong enough to harm unprotected eyes. Even a full day outside without UV protective eyewear can cause immediate and temporary issues like swollen or red eyes and hypersensitivity to light. Combined with years of cumulative exposure, it can cause cancer of the eye or eyelid and accelerate conditions like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Your eyes need as much care as the rest of your body, so remember to don your sunglasses when you’re outside and keep up with eye exams.

A baseline eye exam is suggested at age 40 when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. Your ophthalmologist will screen you for eye diseases, including cataracts.

Cataract symptom progression includes:

  • Painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
  • More difficulty seeing at night or in low light
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Faded or yellowed colors
  • The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions
  • Double vision in one eye

It’s recommended that you begin seeing your ophthalmologist every year beginning at 65 because your risk of cataracts and other eye diseases increase as you get older.

Early detection and treatment of cataracts is critical to preserving sight. To make an appointment with our Eye Care Center, call 507-385-4070. You can also visit them at /eye-care-center