The sun does not draw distinction between us. No matter who we are or where we are in the world, we can all increase our awareness for the protection of our vision.
Most of us know that too much exposure from UV rays emitted from the sun can cause sunburn and skin cancer. But it is so important for us to understand that these UV rays are also harmful to our eyes.
Time spent outdoors without sunglasses, even on cloudy days, exposes our eyes to damaging UV rays from the sun and can cause short and long term eye conditions. Short term effects include eye redness, blurred vision, tearing, light sensitivity and/or eye pain. Long term damage includes cataracts and age related macular degeneration.
Protecting your Eyes from UV
To protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation, wear high quality sunglasses with lenses that block 100 percent UV whenever you are outdoors in daylight. Remember that your eyes need protection even on cloudy days because damaging UV rays can penetrate cloud cover.
Larger sized, full wraparound and shield frame designs provide maximum protection, as your eyes and the areas around your eyes are protected from all sides.
FYI on Sunglasses and UV Exposure
- Not all sunglasses offer 100 percent UV protection. Ensure you understand and check the quality of the lens used in your frame.
- Lens color does not determine the amount of UV protection.
- Wear sunglasses even in the shade. UV rays reflected from buildings, roadways and other surfaces are present even if you do not feel them.
- Sunglasses are needed especially in the snow. Snow can reflect 80% of UV rays, significantly increasing the amount of UV that reaches our eyes.
- Dark and Light Eyed Alike. The risk of eye damage from UV rays is present for those with dark and light colored eyes.
Don’t Forget the Kids!
The risk of damage of our eyes and skin from solar UV radiation accumulates, so eye damage increases the more time you spend in sunlight, starting from the earliest age and continues throughout your lifetime.
Sunglasses for your kids are as important as sunscreen for your children’s skin.