UV Radiation and Your Eyes

Image of a sunset.

Optometry warnings about the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation on our eyes have not yet reached the degree of public awareness of that of skin damage. Yet, the sun can be just as damaging upon our eyes with unprotected exposure. Short-term exposure to very bright sunlight can result in a type of sunburn to our eyes regardless of the season. Photokeratiitis -- also known as "snow blindness" and "flash burns" -- is a sunburn to the eye's cornea and conjunctiva, the membranes lining the eyelids and the outermost lining of the eye. Like a skin sunburn, the initial inflammation, pain and redness can last up to 48 hours before subsiding. Treatment such as cold cloths over the eyes and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve some of the painful symptoms, but the best treatment is prevention best obtained by wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim.

The Damage Adds Up

One day on the beach and a couple of days of sore eyes doesn't seem like much, but eye care providers warn that the effect is cumulative and the damage increases with every day of unprotected overexposure. Long-term damage goes beyond crow's feet from squinting in the bright sunlight. Years of unprotected exposure to the sun can result in increased chances of cataracts, damage to the retina, macular degeneration, cancer of the eye itself and cancer of the eyelid. Pterygium, a recurring condition where the conjunctiva grows over the cornea to restrict vision, requires repeated surgeries to keep in check is also common.

Not All Sunglasses Are Equal

Any pair of sunglasses is better than wearing none at all, but not all sunglasses provide the same degree of protection to the eye. Ask your eye care provider for recommendations to fit your lifestyle and your budget.

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Testimonials

  • "I ended up coming here because it's covered by my vision insurance. I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and courtesy of all the staff. I definitely enjoy coming here. All the nurses and doctors and support staff are friendly and helpful."I had a wonderful experience in getting an eye exam and new glasses! Every single employee was so accommodating and helpful. I look forward to continuing to come to this office."

    - Erica W.
  • "I have been going to Lafayette Eye Associates for 30+ years, and I would not trust my eyes with anyone else."

    - Jim H.
  • "Everyone in the office is friendly and professional. And they have a great selection of frames!"

    - Mary A.
  • "Lafayette Eye Associates is a great place! The staff is welcoming and friendly. The doctors are great. And the frame selection is decent. The office is clean and modern. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!"

    - Molly D.

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Location

Hours of Operation

Monday

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

1:45 pm - 7:00 pm

Tuesday

9:30 am - 1:00 pm

1:45 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday

8:00 am - 1:00 pm

1:45 pm - 5:30 pm

Thursday

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday

8:00 am - 1:00 pm

1:45 pm - 4:30 pm

Saturday

8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Monday
9:00 am - 1:00 pm 1:45 pm - 7:00 pm
Tuesday
9:30 am - 1:00 pm 1:45 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 1:00 pm 1:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 1:00 pm 1:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday
Closed