Is UV Protection Important in Sunglasses?

Is UV Protection Important in Sunglasses?

Most people know the importance of protecting their skin from solar radiation. Many, however, do not understand the importance of protecting their eyes from ultraviolet rays from the sun. Your eyes, after all, absorb the same harmful solar rays. Potential health risks to your eyes are real and include macular degeneration and cataracts.

What you need to know is that UV rays are still dangerous on an overcast day. Essentially, it does not have to be a bright and sunny day for ultraviolet rays to damage your eyes. They can reflect off buildings, sand, snow, and water, even on a cloudy day. Sunglasses with a UV shield can protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. As more and more people learn about the potentially harmful effects of solar radiation, sunglasses with UV protection are growing in popularity.

Importance of UV Protection in Sunglasses

UV eye protection is extremely important. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage the lens and cornea of your eye, as well as the skin of your eyelids. Exposure to ultraviolet rays can also lead to the development of certain growths on the eyes and other complications. When shopping for sunglasses, pick those that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays. They should also screen out between 75 percent and 90 percent of visible light.

There are three types of UV rays. These are UVA, UVB, and UVC. Most people do not know much about UV-C because the ozone layer absorbs it, which minimizes or eliminates its threat. The other two types of ultraviolet radiation can lead to short-term and long-term visual damage. When it comes to UV radiation, solar rays pose a daily threat. However, lasers, tanning beds, welding machines, and other types of equipment can produce UV rays as well.

If you experience short-term exposure to UV radiation without protective eyewear, you can suffer some vision and eye damage. This damage can cause your eyes to feel gritty, puffy, or like they have sand in them. If you suffer from extreme light sensitivity, your eyes will tear excessively.

Symptoms of short-term exposure to UV radiation are usually temporary, which is fortunate. If you expose your eyes to long-term UV radiation, however, you risk developing more serious eye and vision problems in the future. Some of the consequences of long-term UV radiation include:

  • Macular degeneration.

  • Abnormal growth on the surface of the eye.

  • Cancer of the eyelids and eye.

  • Sunburn of the eye.

  • Cataracts.

  • Damage to the retina and cornea.

Some of these conditions are permanent; therefore, prevention is the most important course of action. Ultraviolet damage tends to snowball through a person’s lifetime. This is why it is important to protect kids from UV exposure. Around 25 percent of the ultraviolet rays damage to your eyes occurred before you were 20 years of age. Sunglasses with ultraviolet protection are essential for keeping your vision and eyes healthy throughout your lifetime. You should also replace your sunglasses every few years to take advantage of improved testing standards on newer models.

To learn more about the importance of sunglasses with UV protection, talk to the experts at Lifetime Vision and Eye Care. We aim to provide a personal and unique experience to our patients, as well as excellence in eye care. To request an appointment, call us at (305)902-3320. You can also visit our offices in Miami Gardens, Florida.

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