By now, most Americans are aware of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (such as sunburn and skin cancer) and the importance of applying sunblock and using other forms of sun protection when spending time in the sun. But how many of us know that ultraviolet rays and other radiation from the sun are also a risk to your eyes?
If you are considering going outside without proper eye protection, think again. Prolonged exposure to the sun's UV light has been seen to be a cause of eye damage.
Risks of UV Eye Exposure
Exposure to excessive levels of UV for a short interval can cause a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can lead to more threatening eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause vision loss. Just like the real thing, tanning beds present a serious threat of overexposure to UV.
Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses
To protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays, you should look for sunglasses that completely block all UV rays. Stick with sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they prevent all UV light (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).
You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Wraparound sunglasses can block harmful UV light from coming in through the sides and back of the frame.
It's not necessary to pay a lot to have sufficient UV protection, but you should not make a purchase unless you are sure the sunglasses provide full solar protection. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper defense against the harmful risks of exposure to sunlight. The great news is that as well as defending your eyes from the dangers of UV exposure, stylish sunglasses are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!