The Damaging Effects of the Sun on your Eyes

Although the sun breathes life into all living things, it also can cause irreversible damage! What I want to focus on is the damage the sun can do to your eyes. The eye has natural protection against harmful UV rays but over time those protections begin to weaken and the eye becomes more vulnerable.

Eyelid Cancers

5 to 10 percent of all skin cancer involve the eyelid, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and Melanoma. The thin layer of skin known as the eyelid is vulnerable and most cancers occur on the lower lid which receives the most sunlight. Basal Cell Carcinoma also has a significant risk of spreading to the eye itself and surrounding area causing major damage.

Intraocular Melanoma

Although rare it is the most common eye cancer in adults. It begins in the middle layer of the eye were the Iris and Pupil are. It can result in blurred vision and changes in the pupil’s shape.

Conjunctival Cancers

Although they were once rare, this type of cancer has risen rapidly over the years. People with atypical mole syndrome are more likely to be affected.


Clouding and yellowing of the crystalline lens, the focusing function of the eye, at least 10 percent of cataract cases are attributed directly to UV ray exposure. One million operations to remove Cataracts take place in the US alone. UVB has been directly linked to cataracts.

Corneal Sunburns or Keratitis

Exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can ultimately burn the cornea. UV protective lenses are a must for anyone using tanning beds. It’s also recommended for Snowboarders and Skiers since UV rays are more intense at high altitudes not to mention the snows reflective properties.

So what’s the point of this blog post? All of these problems can be avoided if you just protect yourself! Skin cancer is on the rise among Millennials, and one of the main reasons is that we don’t think it will happen to us. But it does, at an alarming rate. So wear sunglasses (preferably No4 Optics Polarized ones, but any with UV protection should do), maybe throw on a hat, and always put on sunscreen!  Because knowing is half the battle. GI JOE!! (Anyone else remember that?)

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