The majority of Americans are aware of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer) and the importance of applying UV blocking sunscreen and using other forms of sun protection when spending time in the sun. But how many are aware that ultraviolet rays and other harmful types of radiation from the sun are also a risk to your eyes? If you are thinking of leaving the house without proper eye protection, think about this: Extended exposure to harmful UV rays has been seen to be a cause of eye damage.
UV Eye Damage
Exposure to large quantities of ultraviolet radiation over a short amount of time can cause a ‘’sunburn of the eye’’, which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can result in more serious eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause vision loss. Just like the real sun, tanning beds pose a serious risk of overexposure to UV.
UV Eye Protection
To shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, sunglasses should block 100 percent of UV light. Look for sunglasses labeled ‘’UV 400’’, which indicates that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere). You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous UV rays from coming in through the rear of the sunglasses.
You don’t have to empty your pockets to have proper UV defense, but it’s essential to be certain the sunglasses give full UV defense. Many less-exclusive brands do offer proper UV coverage. Further, as well as keeping your eyes protected from the sun’s harmful rays, trendy sunglasses are at the height of fashion. Pick up a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!
For more information on UV protection, call Dr. Chesen’s Miramar optometric office at 954-437-9733. The office is located at 2909 Dykes Rd., in the Fountains of Miramar Shopping Plaza.