Ultra violet (UV) light comes directly from the sun, but it is also reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces. While UV-A rays pass through the eye they impact on the health of the retina, UV-B rays are absorbed in the front half of the eye where they can cause damage.
UV light can cause and lead to such conditions as:
- Macular degeneration- a degeneration of the central portion of the retina which can lead to blindness.
- Cataracts- the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. Exposure to UV-B rays can lead to earlier development.
- Photo-keratitis- an inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva (white of the eye) like a sunburn. Extreme exposure can lead to snow blindness, a painful but reversible condition.
- Pterygiums- these start as small bumps or growths on the conjunctiva but can grow over the cornea and interfere with vision.
- Skin cancers- certain skin cancers can develop with UV-B exposure on any portion of the face and eyelids.
Author Vision Source — Published May 29, 2014