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Protecting Your Vision: The Impact of UV Light on Eyesight

As Kansas transitions from the crispness of spring to the warmth of summer, everyone will start to head outdoors more and more to take advantage of the great weather. However, amidst the anticipation of sunny days, a potential hazard to our eye health often goes unnoticed: the harmful effects of UV rays.

Grene Vision Group, with its extensive presence in the Wichita area and beyond, invites you to explore the significance of UV protection for your eyes. We're here to shed light on the dangers posed by UV exposure and provide you with essential tips to safeguard your vision during outdoor adventures.

Understanding UV Light and Eye Health

The risk associated with UV exposure and skin cancer is well-documented, yet many are unaware of the impact UV light can have on their eyes. UV rays, emitted by the sun, possess lower frequency light emissions that penetrate deeper into the body, affecting even the eyes and their surrounding tissues.


The anterior structures of the eye absorb most UV light, but prolonged exposure can also affect the internal parts, potentially leading to irreversible damage or an increased risk of developing chronic eye conditions.

Identifying UV-Induced Eye Conditions

Exposure to UV light can result in a range of ocular issues, from mild discomfort to serious vision-threatening conditions. Understanding these potential risks is crucial for proactive eye care.


Similar to skin, the eyes can suffer from sunburn, known as photokeratitis. This painful condition, triggered by excessive UV exposure, underscores the importance of wearing sunglasses even on overcast days. Symptoms include very painful, red, watery eyes and can last a few days. However, even after symptoms fade, serious eye damage can remain.

Pterygium and Pinguecula

Pterygium and pinguecula are types of growths on the eye's surface linked to UV exposure. Both of these conditions can also increase the risk of developing dry eye disease. Pterygia grow across the conjunctiva (the white part of the eye) and might require surgical intervention if vision is compromised by growing over the iris. Pingueculae, on the other hand, are bumps on the conjunctiva that do not obstruct vision. However, they can cause significant discomfort, and patients usually get them removed for cosmetic reasons.


Cataracts are characterized by the clouding of the eye's lens. Normally, this occurs when the proteins in the eye age and break down, clumping together to form the “clouds” cataract patients see. However, UV rays can actually speed up this process, causing early-onset cataracts or significantly increasing the risk of developing cataracts later in life. Protecting your eyes from UV light is a preventive measure against the acceleration of this condition.

Eyelid Cancers

Increased UV exposure raises the risk for cancers around the eyelids, especially basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which have been found to be directly linked to increased UV light exposure. The skin around the eyelid is very thin, so it doesn’t take much for UV radiation to penetrate it and cause problems.

Macular Degeneration

UV light exposure is also associated with a higher risk of macular degeneration, a retina condition that deteriorates the central part of the back of the eye, the macula. This leads to central vision loss.

There is no cure for this condition, so once you have it, constant vigilance and a treatment plan to manage it are crucial to saving your vision for as long as possible. All vision loss suffered from macular degeneration is permanent, and no pair of glasses is going to bring it back.

Proactive Measures for UV Protection

To counteract the risks posed by UV light, adopting protective measures is essential. Wearing UV400-rated sunglasses, using wide-brimmed hats, and applying sunscreen to the eyelids and surrounding areas can significantly diminish the risk of UV-related eye problems.

Protecting Children's Eyes from UV Light

One thing most people don’t know is that UV damage to your body is cumulative. The more UV light you’re exposed to over time, the higher the chances you’ll develop an eye condition associated with it. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to protect your children’s eyes as well as your own.

The younger a person is when exposed to UV light, the earlier the build-up of UV damage to the eye’s structures starts. This can lead to the earlier development of conditions that cause vision loss, like cataracts, macular degeneration, and more. For more information, visit Grene Vision Group’s pediatric specialists. We can treat most childhood eye conditions and help you protect your little one’s eyes so their vision grows healthy and strong.

Explore UV-Blocking Sunglasses at Grene Vision Group

Your eyes are invaluable. At Grene Vision Group, we're committed to helping you protect them by understanding the risks of UV exposure and taking the necessary steps to prevent damage. Together, we can ensure that your vision remains sharp and your eyes healthy, allowing you to fully enjoy the great outdoors.

As you prepare for the sunny days ahead, Grene Vision Group is your go-to source for stylish and effective UV-blocking sunglasses. Our selection, ranging from high-fashion to functional designs, ensures you'll find the perfect pair to match your style and protect your eyes. Browse our optical shop today to find your new pair of sunglasses.

Grene Vision Group, with over 18 locations in and around Wichita, Kansas, is dedicated to enhancing your eye health and vision clarity. Let us guide you in selecting the ideal sunglasses and provide you with comprehensive eye care to enjoy the beauty of Kansas safely.

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