Sunday, September 24, 2023

Do Sunglasses Protect Against Cataracts?

Ultraviolet rays in sunlight can cause degeneration of the eye lenses, turning them opaque. Preventing those rays from falling on the eye is a good way to protect against cataracts.


Regular use of good quality sunglasses, especially after the age of forty years, can protect against cataract development.

The Science

Your eye lens is filled with a transparent fluid. Various factors, such as age, certain medical conditions, and prolonged exposure to sunrays, can progressively break down the proteins in the liquid, making them clump together and become opaque. The disease is called cataracts because the person sees hazy as if viewing through a waterfall.

Cataracts can form at any age, but commonly, they start to develop around forty years of age and take fifteen to twenty-five years to form fully. It is thought that the antioxidants in the eye—vitamin C, vitamin E, and lutein—start reducing around that age, allowing the lens proteins to degenerate when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Sunglasses prevent UV rays from entering the eye lens, delaying or preventing its degeneration.

Regular use of aviators, especially after the age of forty years, goes a long way in protecting against cataracts. Ensure the sunshades are of good quality and block both UV-A and UV-B rays.

Cataracts can also be caused by diabetes, an eye injury, or certain medicines. So while your sunglasses may reduce the risk, they cannot eliminate it entirely.

To Read More

First Published on: 27th April 2023
Image Credit: Ljupco Dzambazovski on Pexels


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