Proper sunglasses are key to protecting your eyes from sun-related damage, and they should be worn anytime you are outdoors including when you are at the beach or in the water.
Australians have a high rate of skin cancer and melanoma in and around the eye. Many other diseases of the eye are also caused by the sun including:
Studies show there is a relationship between frequent exposure to UVR and premature cataracts. There’s evidence that doubling the total UV-B exposure over time may increase the risk by as much as 60%. A further study found that wearing UV protection from a young age reduces the risk of cataracts by around 25% compared to those who began wearing sunglasses after age 40. Once a cataract has developed, cataract surgery is the only method of preventing vision loss.
This is a fleshy growth over the cornea that occurs with ongoing exposure to sun, wind and sand (thus its nickname, ‘surfer’s eye’). Pterygiums develop over time and may reach the point of requiring surgical removal.
Basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are malignant tumours of the eyelid. BCCs are responsible for the majority of eyelid cancers and fortunately rarely metastasise. SCCs remain considerably more dangerous. Research has shown that the development of SCCs can be attributed to extensive ongoing sun exposure. Surgical removal is necessary and, in some cases, may need to be aggressive.
Just as the skin can be damaged from exposure to UVR, the eye itself can suffer from ‘sunburn’. This is called photokeratitis and represents a superficial yet painful burn of the outmost layer of the eye. Treatment is usually lubricants and rest, however medical treatment may be necessary.
Most people receive a significant amount of sun exposure in their early years, and increasing evidence suggests that a cause of eye damage is through excessive exposure to the suns ultraviolet rays. A study has shown that children who live their childhood in Brisbane are much more likely to develop eye disease than children who grow up in Melbourne.
What else can you do?
Here at QEI & SBDH, the health and safety of our patients and staff is of the highest priority. That's why we are taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
We kindly ask all patients and visitors of the clinic to not enter the building if they are feeling unwell (fever, cough, sore throat or flu symptoms), have been overseas in the last two weeks or have been in contact with a known case of COVID-19.
In accordance with new government regulations, electro-diagnostic services (QEDIC) have temporarily ceased and as of Monday, 6 April the QEI Clinic will be providing only essential and urgent consultations. All visitors to the clinic at this time will have their temperature taken at the ground floor or the carpark.
Please contact us on 07 3239 5000 if you have any queries.
We would like to thank all patients and visitors for their cooperation and understanding at this time.