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Does More Time In The Sun Increase My Risk Of Cataracts?

Group of older people smiling with cataracts

Do you wear sunglasses when you go outside in the sun? Are you worried about developing cataracts?

One of the easiest ways to keep your eyes healthy is to wear sunglasses whenever you go into the sun. If you do not wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, you are playing with fire.

Keep reading to find out if more time in the sun increases your risk of developing cataracts!

Wear Sunglasses Anytime You Go Outside

Anytime you go outdoors, you should wear sunglasses. The sun emits UV rays rain or shine, so you need to wear sunglasses even when you go outside on a cloudy day.

The rays will still come down, even if there are clouds out. If it is hot, you should consider wearing wide-brimmed sunglasses if you are going to be outside.

The sun is brightest from about 9 am until 2 pm. During this time, you are most susceptible to sun damage, so you need to make sure to protect your eyes!

The Sun Is One Of Many Reasons You Could Develop Cataracts

There are many reasons that patients can develop cataracts. Some of the causes can include the following:

  • As a result of aging
  • Sunlight
  • Because of medical conditions like diabetes
  • If you have other eye diseases
  • Eye injuries
  • You are born with them (congenital cataracts)

Unless you can identify an eye injury, were born with cataracts, or have them because of another medical condition, they likely developed because of age. Age-related cataracts are not preventable, as they are part of the aging process.

Just like your hair graying or skin aging, you develop cataracts in your eyes. Sunlight exposure over your lifetime does play a factor in how your body ages. When it comes to your eyes, this can include when you develop cataracts.

Can I Still Go Out In The Sun?

Despite the fact that sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, you only need small doses of it each day. But when you go outside to get some sun, you need to wear sunglasses and use sunscreen to keep your eyes and skin safe.

This will help keep your body healthy and aging well. If you continue to overexpose your eyes to the sun, the UV rays from the sun will damage them.

Overexposure can potentially cause blindness, cataracts, and vision issues. The more you expose your eyes to the sun’s UV rays, the more you increase your chances of developing cataracts.

It does not mean that after one day of being in the sun, you will get cataracts. It is the cumulative effect of the sun on your eyes over time.

The impact of the sun on your eyes will show up years later, not immediately. It does depend on how much overexposure your eyes have experienced.

It is important to remember that the sun can be tied to cataract development. Most of the time, cataracts develop as part of the aging process.

Remember to protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. They can help delay cataracts from developing earlier.

Do you think that you could have cataracts? Schedule an appointment at Omaha Eye & Laser Institute in Lincoln, NE!

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Our Locations

Omaha Eye & Laser Institute
11606 Nicholas St.
Omaha NE 68154
Toll Free 800.766.8705Local 402.493.2020Fax 402.493.8987
Lincoln Eye & Laser Institute
755 Fallbrook Blvd. Suite 205
Lincoln, NE 68521
Toll Free 800.726.2647Local 402.483.4448Fax 402.483.4750