Harmful sun rays amplified by snow and ice

Snow falling in Enid on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 17, 2016 (Anthony West KOKH)

From sunburn to cataracts, too much sun exposure can cause all kinds of issues for your eye, especially when it’s amplified by the sun.

Dr. Jonathan Poe, and Optometrist at Vision Source Family Eye Care in Midwest City said, "When we think about sunglasses, it's not about fashion there are also health reasons to wear sunglasses."

He explained why snow days might cause more damage to your eyes, than even those hot summer days.

"We have so much U.V.B. that's been reflected, off the surfaces that typically would absorb the U.V.."

Leaving your eyes unprotected can cause headaches from squinting, and can cause your eyes to be sunburned.

"The main complaint I have with sunburn is just pain," Poe said.

Long term, too much U.V.A. and U.V.B. exposure can lead to diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, or even cancer.

"The skin around the eyes is susceptible to skin cancer," Poe explained.

For protection, you should look for sunglasses with one hundred percent U.V.A., and U.V.B. protection.

In fact, glasses without the built-in sun block, can be worse for your eyes than wearing no shades at all.

According to Poe, "It does widen the pupil because they are dark, but it's letting more harmful U.V. into the eye."

Polarized lenses don't protect from sun rays, but they do help cut down on glare which makes them more comfortable and can prevent squinting, and long term, wrinkles.

Eye doctors said sun damage is more likely to happen to young people, but they may not see the effects of that until they're older, and it's too late.

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