Due to campaigns to inform the public of the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (particularly sunburn and skin cancer), most know about the importance of applying sunblock and avoiding direct contact with the sun during outdoor activities. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation from the sun also pose a risk to your eyes.
If you tend to go out without sunglasses, reconsider. Prolonged contact with the sun's UV rays has been linked to eye damage.
Risks of UV Eye Exposure
Excessive UV exposure over a short amount of time is known to cause a ''sunburn of the eye'', leading to pain, blurry vision or even temporary vision loss. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can result in more threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can cause vision loss. Just like the real thing, tanning beds pose a substantial risk of overexposure to UV.
Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses
To guard your eyes from threatening UV rays, you should only purchase sunglasses that completely block all UV rays. Stick with shades labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they block both UVA and UVB rays from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).
The size of your sunglasses is also important. Wraparound sunglasses can prevent harmful ultraviolet light from coming in through the sides and back of the frame.
It's not necessary to pay a lot to have sufficient UV coverage, but it's essential to be certain the sunglasses offer complete UV protection. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper defense against the threatening effects of exposure to sunlight. Further, as well as defending your eyes from the risks of UV exposure, stylish shades are in style, so go buy yourself a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!