Thanks to education to increase knowledge of the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (particularly sunburn and skin cancer), most are familiar with the importance of applying UV blocking sunscreen and using other protective measures during outdoor activities. What is less known is that UV and other types of radiation from the sun also pose a threat to your eyes.
If you tend to go out without proper eye protection, consider this: Prolonged absorption of the sun's ultraviolet radiation has been seen to be a cause of damage to the eye.
Risks of UV Eye Exposure
Exposure to large quantities of UV for a short interval is known to result in photokeratitis meaning a ''sunburn of the eye'', leading to pain, blurry vision or even temporary blindness. In the long run, UV exposure can result in more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause vision loss. Just like the real thing, tanning beds present a substantial risk of overexposure to UV.
Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses
For sufficient UV protection, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Stick with shades labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they prevent all UV light 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 harmful ultraviolet rays from coming in through the sides and back of the frame.
It's not necessary to pay a lot to have proper UV coverage, but you should not buy anything unless you are sure the sunglasses provide full solar coverage. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper defense from the harmful effects of exposure to sunlight. Further, as well as defending your eyes from the dangers of UV exposure, trendy sunglasses are in style, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!