Thanks to efforts to create awareness of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most are familiar with the importance of applying UV blocking sunscreen and using other forms of sun protection particularly during the blazing summer months. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation from the sun are also a danger to your eyes.
If you tend to leave the house without proper eye protection, think again. Continual exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation has been seen to be a cause of eye damage.
Risks of UV Eye Exposure
Exposure to excessive amounts of ultraviolet radiation over a short interval can result in photokeratitis or a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary vision loss. In the long run, UV exposure can lead to more threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause loss of sight. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at heightened risk of exposure to UV radiation.
UV Eye Protection
To shield your eyes from threatening UV rays, you should only purchase sunglasses that completely block all UV rays. Stick with shades that specify they are ''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).
You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous ultraviolet rays from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.
You don't have to pay a lot to have sufficient UV protection, but it's essential to be sure the sunglasses offer complete solar coverage. Many less-exclusive brands do offer proper defense from the harmful effects of exposure to UV light. Further, in addition to guarding your eyes from the harmful sunlight, trendy sunglasses are in style, so go buy yourself a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!