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UV and the eyes

Ultraviolet is invisible light just off the blue-violet end of the colour spectrum.  Being short wavelength, UV is high energy.  As anyone with sunburn will tell you, get enough UV and it damages tissue.  High doses UV can cause eye lid sunburn, 'arc eye' and 'snow blindness' as it burns the cornea. 

But what about long-term exposure to ultraviolet light?  

Long term UV exposure has been linked to cataracts, pterygia and macular degeneration.  Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye leading to poorer vision and glare sensitivity.  A pterygium is a connective tissue growth on the front of the eye, which can get inflamed and interfere with vision. Macular degeneration is a change in the retina at the back of the eye, reducing vision and is the most common cause of legal blindness. 

Reduce your UV exposure with UV blocking lenses and a broad brimmed hat when out in the sun.  In time to come your eyes may thank you for it.