Avoiding UV Rays Even After Vision Loss

Vision loss can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that even if you have low vision, protecting your eyes and the skin around them is still essential to maintaining your overall eye and systemic health and preventing further deterioration of your vision. 

The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) aims to help our patients live their best lives despite severe vision loss from injury or eye disease. 

Below, we discuss how, even after significant vision loss, ultraviolet (UV) rays can pose serious health risks as well as provide advice on the role of a low vision doctor in educating patients on how to stay healthy.

How UV Rays Affect Eye and Systemic Health

Even if vision loss has already occurred, protecting the eyes from UV rays remains important. The delicate skin around the eyes is particularly vulnerable to UV damage, leading to premature aging, wrinkles, and an increased risk of skin cancer. 

Moreover, UV rays can make existing eye conditions worse. For instance, exposure to UV light can speed up the formation of cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can further impair vision. Additionally, UV exposure is a known risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in older adults.

The Role of Low-Vision Doctors

Low vision specialists aim to provide comprehensive care that supports both the functional and health aspects of our patients’ lives, which is why we go beyond providing low vision aids such as telescopic lenses and magnifiers by offering recommendations on how to keep your eyes and vision from getting worse over time. This includes advising on proper eyewear to maximize visibility and protect against cancer and eye diseases over time.

Advice on Sunglasses for Low-Vision Patients

For low-vision patients, sunglasses that provide 100% UV or UV400 protection are important to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Polarized lenses are beneficial as they reduce glare, enhancing contrast and clarity, which is essential for those with vision impairment. 

Consider sunglasses with larger frames or wraparound styles for increased coverage, protecting the eyes and the sensitive skin around them. Tinted lenses can also be helpful; choose yellow or amber tints to improve contrast in low-light conditions or gray tints for bright sunlight to reduce brightness without distorting colors. 

Some sunglasses come with magnifying features or are compatible with prescription lenses, providing an added layer of functionality. By focusing on these features, low-vision patients can ensure they protect their eyes while maximizing their remaining vision.

IALVS is Here to Help

The role of IALVS doctors extends beyond improving functional vision; we also aim to help our patients maintain their overall health. This includes advising on ways to protect against further vision loss and ensuring you can maintain your overall systemic and eye health.

For more information or to find an IALVS low-vision doctor near you, visit our IALVS doctor directory at https://ialvs.com/doctor-directory/.