Because of measures to increase knowledge of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most are familiar with the need for using sunscreen and using other protective measures when spending time in the sun. But did you know that ultraviolet rays and other harmful types of radiation from the sun are also a threat to your eyes?
If you often go out without proper eye protection, consider this: Extended contact with the sun's UV radiation has been seen to be a cause of damage to the eye.
UV Risks to Vision
Exposure to large levels of UV for a short interval can lead to photokeratitis meaning a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. In the long run, UV exposure can lead to more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can cause loss of sight. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at increased risk of exposure to UV radiation.
UV Eye Protection
For effective ultraviolet protection, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Stick with sunglasses labeled ''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).
The size of your sunglasses is also important. Sunglasses with side protection can block harmful ultraviolet light from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.
People whose work or recreation involves extensive exposure to light from the sun are at the highest risk for UV eye damage. Ultraviolet radiation can be bounced off of areas such as snow, water, and white sand and poses the most threat from 10 am to 3 pm and throughout the summer. UV radiation levels increase nearer to the equator and at high altitudes. It's recommended that you consult with an eye doctor and to know the hazards of UV exposure. Simply putting on your sunglasses can make a world of difference for your precious eyesight.