While constant exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is harmful, experts consider this as merely one of the factors in the development of cataracts along with heredity, malnutrition, injury, certain diseases, and the use of steroids.

Two other groups at risk for UV damage are those who've had cataract operations and. those taking certain medicines that increase their sensitivity to sunlight.

In a cataract operation, the cloudy lens is removed, leaving the retina extremely vulnerable to UV radiation. But if the diseased lens is replaced with an intraocular lens implant which blocks UV, there's no need to worry.

Photosensitivity is likely to occur in some people taking anticancer drugs, water pills, tranquilizers, antidepressants, antihistamines, birth control pills, Retin-A, anti-diabetic or high blood pressure medications, and topical antiseptic creams.

"Probably the best known of these photosensitizing drugs is psoralen, used in so-called PUVA treatment of psoriasis. Studies have shown that PUVA can cause cataracts unless patients wear UV-absorbing sunglasses for at least 24 hours after treatment. Other drugs that may photosensitize include tetracycline, doxycycline, allopurinol, and phenothiazine compounds. Whether or not they might contribute to cataracts is unknown. People taking such drugs should consider wearing sunglasses outdoors to reduce any risk," according to the editors of Consumer Reports.

Staring at the sun is also harmful. The danger of blindness associated with this practice is not caused by the sun's heat but by visible light with shorter wavelengths - the so-called blue light of the spectrum.

Exposure to blue light has been implicated in macular degeneration, an age-related condition caused by the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the macula. This is the tissue in the center of the retina which is responsible for central vision.

"The best evidence from harm comes from laboratory studies in which monkeys and other mammals have been exposed for varying times to high levels of specific blue-light wavelengths. The blue light produced retinal lesions similar to the damage observed in macular degeneration," Consumer Reports said.

What then should you do to protect your eyes? Are sunglasses the answer? If so, what should you look for before buying a pair? Find out in the next part of this series.

If you’re bothered by eye bags, dark circles and wrinkles around the eyes, restore your youthful looks with Eyederma. For details, visit http://www.eyederma.com/.

Author's Bio: 

Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine www.HealthLinesNews.com.