Health Matters Spring 2019 - Page 21

Protect eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays Thanks to increased awareness about the perils of exposure to ultravio- let rays and skin damage, a greater number of people routinely apply sun- screen before spending time outdoors. But while people take steps to prevent sunburns, skin cancer and premature aging, they may fail to consider that UV rays also can damage their eyes. Just as people protect their skin from the sun, so, too, should they safe- guard their eyes. Prevent Blindness America warns that the sun is com- prised of UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays may hurt central vision by damaging the macula, or a part of the retina at the back of the eye. UVB rays typically affect the front part of the eye or the lens and cornea. The following are some common eye conditions that can be linked to exposure to UV rays. Photokeratitis Excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time can cause photokeratitis, which is equivalent to a sunburn of the eye. Photokeratitis may occur after spending long hours at the beach or skiing without proper eye pro- tection. UVB rays cause photokeratitis, and these rays can burn the cornea, po- tentially causing pain and temporary vision loss. Macular degeneration According to the American Opto- metric Association, macular degenera- tion is a deterioration of the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision. In addition to UV rays, chronic exposure to shorter-wavelength visible blue and violet light can be harmful to the retina. The sun and many artificial light sources, such as LEDs and smartphones, emit blue light. Some blue light can be beneficial, but some can be harmful to the eyes. Lens- es that absorb harmful blue light or block it can prevent retinal damage. Pterygium Pterygium is a growth that forms on the outer portion of the eye, or the cornea and conjunctiva. The World Health Organization says that pro- longed UV exposure can contribute to this condition. Pterygium may extend over the cornea and reduce vision, re- quiring surgical removal. Massage Reflexology Organic Skin Care Guided Nutrition and Fat Loss Programs Acupuncture Fire Cupping Gua Sha Biomagnetic Therapy Sun protection Sunglasses should completely cover the eyes, including the skin on the eye- lids and under the eye, to provide ade- quate protection for the eyes. Wrap- around frames will offer additional pro- tection to those who spend a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight. The AOA says sunglasses should also do the fol- lowing. · Block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. · Screen out between 75 and 90 per- cent of visible light. · Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection. · Have lenses that are gray for prop- er color recognition. Consumers should speak with an eye doctor if they have questions. — Metro Creative Connection • Private Family Room • Spacious Chapel with 200 guest seating • Advance Funeral Planning • Prepayment Plan w w w .br ea theasymassage .c om • Inspiring H Healthy ealth y Living UV exposure also can contribute to the formation of cataracts. Prevent Blindness America says a cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. Whiddon-Shiver Funeral Home Thomasville’s Place For Complete Wellness For more information, call: ( 229 ) 672-0435 Cataracts Serving Thomas Co Since 1934 10451 U.S. Highway 84 E. Thomasville, GA 229-226-5621 Don Shiver Owner/Funeral Director 224625-1