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Ask an Expert Series - What long term damage does UV light cause?

By Dr. Colleen Schubach

For University of Utah Health Care BrandView

Published: Tuesday, May 27 2014 10:00 a.m. MDT

UV light and longterm damage

Here comes the sun, and with it the potential for eye damage from exposure to UV light. In today's "Ask An Expert" Colleen Schubach, O.D. discusses the long term effects UV light can have on your eyes, how the conditions caused can be treated, and how to protect your eyes from damage. Also, how you can find the perfect sunglasses for any activity, and why you should make sure your kids are wearing them as well.

Interview with Dr. Schubach, Optometrist

What kind of eye damage, long term, does UV light cause people?

  1. Cataracts
  2. Macular Degeneration
  3. Skin Cancer along eye lids
  4. Pingueculas
  5. Pterygiums

Are treatments available for these kinds of damages?

Treatments are available for these kinds of damages, said Schubach, but preventive care is the best method. She continued, "We lather ourselves up with sunscreen. We should be protecting our eyes as well."

When does the most damage usually occur for people?

Damages can occur at any stage in life but "children are particularly at risk for UV damage and it's an accumulative effect," she said. "80 percent of UV damage is done before age 18."

With advances in eyewear and protective lenses, people can find sunglasses for any occasion today. Schubach said, "We have pretty much anything anyone needs anymore to give them the function as well as the fashion."

If you think you have suffered UV damage to your eyes visit an expert an the Moran Eye Center.

Check out other Ask an Expert articles here.

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