Protecting Your Eyes from Colorado’s UV Rays
Throughout the year in Colorado, UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes if you don’t take proper precautions. At Grand Junction ICON Eyecare, we remind you that UV rays are more intense in Colorado and there are several eye conditions that be caused by overexposure to UV rays. We treat all types of eye conditions and can help you prevent further damage to your eyes.
UV Rays Are More Intense in Colorado
According to the World Health Organization, every 1,000 meters of altitude increases your UV level by 10%. UV radiation can pass through clouds and intensifies with the thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes. Grand Junction sits at 4,600 feet above sea level, with nearby mountain tops leveling off at 12,000+ feet — which is much closer to the sun than communities at lower elevations.
While we hope that you’re able to take the appropriate precautions to safeguard your vision, our eye doctors in Grand Junction are available to treat any eye conditions aggravated by UV radiation.
Eye Conditions Impacted by UV Rays
Colorado’s intense UV rays can cause or worsen the following eye conditions:
- Pterygium: If you develop a growth in the white part of the eye, it typically doesn’t impact your vision directly. However, depending on the position and size, it can impact the shape of the cornea, causing nearsightedness or other refractive errors. In severe cases, it may grow over your pupil and cause decreased vision. The pterygium can cause itchiness, redness, or inflammation. If it disrupts your life, it’s a good idea to visit our office to discuss pterygium removal.
- Cataracts: UVB rays damage proteins in the clear part of your eye. When damaged proteins clump together, they form cloudy areas known as cataracts. When you come in for regular eye exams, your ophthalmologist will notice any cataracts that have formed. Your eye doctor can help you manage worsening prescriptions, and when you’re ready, we can also perform cataract surgery to provide you with a permanent artificial lens. With a new lens, you can recover your vision.
- Macular degeneration: Age-related macular degeneration impacts nearly 10 million Americans. This is a leading cause of vision loss among older Americans and affects about 10 million people. It affects the middle of the retina and impacts central vision. Protein deposits in the retina cause oxygen deprivation that damages the retina.
Wearing Protective Eyewear
Choose sunglasses (everyday use) or goggles (for climbing and other outdoor sports) with the following features:
- Block 99% of UVA and UVB rays
- Screen at least 75% of visible light
- Even, matching color throughout the lens
- Have gray lenses that won’t filter colors
Treatment at Grand Junction ICON Eyecare
Reach out to our caring eye doctors in Grand Junction to set up an appointment today. We welcome your questions on how to keep your eyes safe in the great outdoors of Colorado. Call us if you’d like to learn more about treatment for the above conditions or cataract and LASIK surgery in our Grand Junction clinic.