Protecting Your Eyes in Barcelona’s Summer Sun

Who doesn’t love summer? As great as it is when the sun is shining and the temperatures grow warmer, it is important to stay in the shade as much as possible. Your skin isn’t the only thing that can be negatively affected by the sun. Many people forget how important it is to pay attention to protecting your eyes from the sun. If you are experiencing problems with your eyes, be sure to call an english speaking doctor today.

UV radiation is the most common cause of damage to our eyes and builds up over time. Eventually, it can leave permanent effects on our eyes and eyesight. Barcelona has extremely high levels of UV radiation, so you must make sure you take extra care in protecting your eyes. 

What Are UV Rays?

Ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays, are invisible rays of energy that comes directly from the sun. They are not like the sun’s light or heat, being that you cannot see or feel them. UV rays can be broken down into 3 main wavelengths: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVB rays mostly affect the cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye. UVA radiation passes through the cornea to the lens and retina of the eye. UVC radiation is filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere.

Especially when traveling to sunny Barcelona during the summer months, it is important to keep in mind that you should limit your time in the direct sun. Sunshine between the times of 10AM and 4PM is when UV exposure is the strongest.

How to Prevent Eye Exposure

If you are going to be outside for a while, it is a good idea to wear a hat and sunglasses. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses that will keep up with protecting your eyes as much as possible is also extremely important. Making a habit of wearing sunglasses just about any time you are outside is the best prevention.

When shopping for sunglasses, make sure the lenses block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays.

To protect your vision at work or during physical activity, wear protective eyewear. Some eyewear is even sport-specific. Even on cloudy days it is important to wear sunglasses. UV rays are constantly there, even though you cannot see them. Ask an english speaking doctor for suggestions on selecting the right pair.

Damage to your eyes can cause both short term and long term problems. If you see signs of either, it is a good idea to consult with a doctor in Barcelona, where a consultation can be made in as early as 30 minutes.

Short Term Problems

Two major short term problems are photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis. Photokeratitis is caused by UV rays and results in the inflammation of the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye. In other words, it is like sunburn to your eyes. Photoconjunctivitis is similar to this, except the damage is to the area the lines the inside of the eyelids and eye sockets. The good news is, both of these can be resolved in 1-2 days with the help of a doctor. Symptoms of photokeratitis include: excessive blinking, eye watering, difficulty to see in areas of bright light, blurred or gritty feeling in the eyes and swelling in and around the area of the eye. If you are experiencing these problems be sure to call for assistance. 

 Long Term Problems

More serious long term problems include cataracts, pterygium, pinguecula, cancers, and macular degeneration. These problems take much longer to resolve and are sometimes even permanent. If you find you have any of these symptoms and they have worsened the past few days, book a consult with an english speaking doctor immediately.

Following these simple procedures will make sure you are protected so you may enjoy the summer months to the fullest.