Thu, Jul 25, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Eye protection outdoors prevents damage: doctor

By Lee Jung-ping and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Ophtalmologist Chang Wen-jui holds an anatomical model of an eye at Taiwan Landseed Hospital in Taoyuan’s Pingjhen District on Monday.

Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Taipei Times

A doctor on Monday urged people to use eye protection during outdoor activities to avoid sun damage to the eyes.

While the cornea and lens are protected against the visible light spectrum, their resiliency against ultraviolet rays is limited, Taoyuan’s Taiwan Landseed Hospital ophtalmologist Chang Wen-jui (張文瑞) said, adding that exposure to intense ultraviolet rays could cause corneal flash burns.

Corneal flash burns commonly occur during outdoor activities on the beach, at sea or on snow, he said, adding that the symptoms are pain, swelling and teary eyes that often become worse with time.

The hospital has treated a patient who sought emergency treatment at midnight following a day of surfing without eye protection, as the symptoms became noticeable after the patient returned home, Chang said.

While corneal flash burns could cause permanent deterioration of vision, other types of sun damage are more subtle and occur over time, he said.

Doing outdoor activities in the sun without eye protection is linked to increased risk of muscular or retinal disorders and cataracts, Chang said, advising people to wear wide-brimmed or visor hats and sunglasses during such activities.

For effective eye protection, people should buy sunglasses with a light transmission rate of less than 40 percent, as certified by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, and not choose them by their apparent opacity, he said.

If people experience discomfort after exposure to sunlight, they should close their eyes, apply a cold compress and use eye drops, Chang said.

A balanced diet should include fruits and vegetables rich in lutein and vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants beneficial to eye health, he said.

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