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Ultraviolet Rays for Your Eyes

Be Aware of the Dangers of Ultraviolet Rays for Your Eyes

Most Americans are familiar with the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer) and the importance of applying sunscreen and using other forms of sun protection during outdoor activities. But how many of us know that UV and other harmful types of radiation from the sun are also a threat to your eyes?

If you often go out without sunglasses, reconsider. Continual exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to eye damage.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Exposure to excessive quantities of ultraviolet radiation over a short amount of time is known to cause photokeratitis which means a ”sunburn of the eye”, which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. In the long run, UV exposure can cause more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause vision loss. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at heightened risk of exposure to UV radiation.

How to Choose Protective Sunglasses

To protect your eyes from threatening UV rays, you should be careful to only purchase sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet radiation. Look for shades labeled ”UV 400”, which indicates that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere).

The size of your sunglasses is also important. Wraparound sunglasses can block dangerous ultraviolet rays from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.

You don’t have to empty your pockets to have sufficient UV defense, but you should not buy anything unless you are certain the sunglasses offer complete solar protection. Many less expensive brands do offer proper defense from the threatening effects of exposure to UV light. Further, as well as defending your eyes from the hazards of UV exposure, stylish shades are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!