We all know the damage that the sun’s UV exposure can do to our bodies. Repeated research studies demonstrate a clear association between eye damage (cataracts and macular degeneration) and excess UV high energy light. Wearing UV sunglasses help with protecting our eyes in those areas. However, many people do not realize the damage UV exposure can do to the delicate eyelid tissue around the eye. Sunscreen around our eyes generally stings as it heats up and runs into our eyes. As a result, our delicate eyelid skin and the areas adjacent to the eye are left unprotected.
Its an amazing statistic – – 10 percent of ALL skin cancers are on the eyelids!
This is another major reason to make sure you wear not only UV sunglasses for your eye but that your sunglasses are large enough to cover the unprotected area around your eyes where sunscreen is not applied. Also, wrap around sunglasses are most effective in blocking UV rays from entering the eye
C. William Hanke, MD, senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “With their thin, delicate structures, the eyes and surrounding areas are particularly prone to cancers. And it’s an area people often forget to protect from the sun.”
While only a small number of basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas are lethal, eyelid skin cancers can cause significant tissue damage and blindness, and can spread into the nasal and orbital cavities (the area behind the eye).
More than 90% of eyelid cancers are basal cell carcinomas (cancer) of the skin. The lower eyelids are involved in more than 70% of cases. These tumors usually do not spread to other areas of our body fortunately. However, squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas can easily spread elsewhere into vital organs of our body.
- a lump or bump that frequently bleeds or does not disappear
- persistent red eye or inflammation of the eyelids that does not respond to medication
- newly acquired flat or elevated pigmented lesions that have irregular borders and growth
- unexplained loss of eyelashes
Experts recommend wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect the eyes and eyelids from damaging rays. Some makeups have UV protection and may be safe for around the eyes also. Sunscreen is also recommended where it can safely be applied.
If you wear a prescription in your eyeglasses for distance, then its important to get a good UV protecting pair of sunglasses in your prescription not only to protect your eyes but protect the delicate tissue around the eyes.