GENERAL

Attention to the Risk of Sunburn in Children's Eyes in Summer!

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Turkish Ophthalmology Association Medical Retina Unit Secretary Prof. Dr. Nurten Ünlü warned that sunburns in the eyes called 'Solar Retinopathy' can be seen in young people and children due to prolonged exposure to sunlight or looking directly at the sun.

Dr. Nurten Ünlü warned about popular sunburns:

“Sun rays have a very important place in our lives as they are a unique source of vitamins for our body, but exposure to high amounts of sunlight can cause permanent damage to both our skin and eyes. Sunburn can be seen in the retina of the eye, which we call 'Solar Retinopathy', especially since children and young people spend more time outside the home, in parks and by the sea during the summer months. As a result of this disease, cataracts may occur in the eyes or vision loss may occur in a more advanced stage. It is very important to raise the awareness of our people on this issue in order not to experience vision loss.

Because there is no established treatment for solar retinopathy, it is very important to protect our eyes from the sun. The danger of looking at the sun and other bright light sources should be emphasized. The safest form of warning, especially primary school children, in no way filter, etc. to the sun. Even though there are devices, it is teaching that you should not look. Watching a solar eclipse with polarized glasses or using x-ray film can also create a false sense of security, prolonging viewing time and causing retinal damage.

If the sun's rays damage the eyes, symptoms such as watering, burning and squinting in the lids can be seen. Complaints usually develop 1 to 4 hours after exposure to the sun. There may also be complaints such as decreased vision, skewed perception of objects, underestimation of things, dark areas around the center and central vision, perception of objects in different colors, light sensitivity, headache or eye pain.

Initially, visions can range from full vision to just blurring, but average vision rates are between 30 percent and 50 percent. Visual acuity and symptoms improve within 6 months, and vision improves by 70 to 100 percent. Despite the improvement of vision, distorted vision of objects and dark areas in the visual field called scotoma may be permanent.

Dr. Nurten Ünlü continued:

“It is necessary to use sunglasses to protect from sun rays. Sunglasses should have a structure that cuts and blocks harmful wavelengths. This protection is even more important at times when the sun is perpendicular to our eyes. Since the sun's rays are in a higher position in the summer, the eyes are partially protected when they come over our heads, but since the sunlight reflected from the white and bright surfaces is more in summer, it causes more damage to our eyes by causing sensitivity and squinting. It should not be forgotten that when using non-prescription sunglasses without UV protection, the pupils in the back will be enlarged, so more UV rays will enter the eye and will harm the eye instead of benefiting it. In addition, it is seen that children and patients who have had cataract surgery are more affected by UV rays.