The sun is heating up and as much as sunblock is needed, we highly recommended sunglasses at all times. Sunglasses help to protect your eyes from UV rays. Check out these tips from The Vision Council that can help you understand the importance of protecting your eyes from the sun.
What are Ultraviolet Rays?
UV, or ultraviolet, rays come from the sun and are classified into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA and UVB takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the Earth’s surface, after passing through the atmosphere.
Why do UV Rays Hurt Your Eyes?
This accounts for up to 95% of UV radiation. These rays can pass through the atmosphere and onto the Earth’s surface where they’re 30 - 50 times more prevalent than UVB rays. Over time, they can produce long term, severe damage to skin cells.
Unlikely UVA rays, UVB rays are more likely to penetrate on cloudy days and are more prevalent at higher altitudes. They are highly reflective off of snow and ice, making it just as damaging as direct UV exposure. Water reflects up to 100% of UV rays while snow reflects up to 85%. Dry sand and concrete can reflect up to 25% as well.
Sunscreen isn’t the only thing you’ll be needing during the summer. Sunglasses with UV protection are essential in helping to prevent damage to your eyes from UV rays. The damage adds up and adults have reported to both see and feel UV’s effect overtime.Children have immature lens which make them especially susceptible to UV-related eye damage. Some examples of UV damage include:
Short Term UV Damage Effects:
- Photokeratitis (aka sunburnt eyes)
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Swollen Eyes
- Photophobia (hypersensitivity to light)
Long Term UV Damage Effects:
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
- Cancer of the Eye & Surrounding Skin
How Does UV Lights Enter Your Eye?
UVA and UVB radiation enter the eye by penetrating the cornea. Light then passes through the cornea to the pupil and moves to the iris where light intensity is controlled. Unfiltered UV light causes damage to the retina over time.