Wear UV Blocking Sunglasses, Your Eye Health Depends on it.
Most people understand the link between ultraviolet (UV) radiation and skin cancer, but many don’t consider the connection between UV radiation and eye damage. The same UV light rays that can cause skin cancer can also severely affect our eyes and the sensitive skin that surrounds them. The effect that UV light has on our eyes only increases over time. The more time we spend in the sun or under artificial UV radiation, the more damaged our eyes can become.
What is Ultraviolet (UV) Light?
The sun has an impact on health, both negative and positive. Each day, the sun’s light reaches to earth in the form of UV rays. While catching some of the sun’s rays is good for you, too much exposure can negatively affect your eyesight. In addition to natural light, you can be exposed to UV light from artificial sources such as tanning beds and welding machines. All of these natural and man-made sources can severely damage your eyes if you don’t use protective eyewear.
How Does UV Light Affect Your Eyes?
Exposure to UV light can cause many eye diseases and conditions, including macular degeneration, cataracts, “surfer’s eye” (pterygium), skin cancer around the eye, and snow blindness (photokeratitis). The most common, Macular Degeneration (AMD) is caused by damage to the retinas in your eyes over time. AMD is the leading cause of age-related blindness. Extended exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing the condition.
Regardless of age, heavy exposure to UV light can eventually lead to loss of vision. In fact, the younger you are, the clearer your retinas are. This makes young people more vulnerable to the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. Now is the time to protect your eyes from UV light.
How Do You Protect Your Eyes?
Whenever you spend time outdoors, no matter how long, always have protection for your eyes. Even on a cloudy day, UV light can reach your eyes.. The right pair of glasses, with the proper protective features, will protect your eyes from any potential damage from UV light rays.
When you are shopping for glasses, always look for a pair that is specifically designed for UV eye protection. To provide adequate protection for your eyes, your sunglasses should:
- block out 99% to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B light radiation
- screen out 75% to 90% of visible light
- have lenses that are perfectly matched in color
- have lenses that are free of distortion and imperfection
- have lenses that are gray or dark green for proper recognition
In addition to these recommended features, polarized lenses offer an advanced form of protection. Some eye doctors recommend polarized lenses to reduce glare. Polarized lenses are coated with a special chemical film that provides 100% protection from UV light and neutralizes glare. Polarized lenses help you see objects more clearly, and also help reduce the harmful effects of UV light. There are many sunglasses available that promise UV protection and although polarized lenses are costlier, the extra protection is extremely valuable.
The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing quality sunglasses whenever you’re outside. For recommendations on sunglasses to suit your lifestyle, talk to one of our trusted doctors at Piedmont Eye Center .
Schedule your exam today.