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Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

It's a fact: almost everybody is regularly exposed to UV rays. But the risks of many years of exposure to these unsafe rays are rarely thought about, and the majority of people barely take enough action to protect their eyes, even if they're planning to be outside for an extended period of time. Overexposure to UV is unsafe and cannot be reversed, and may also cause more than a few serious, vision-stealing conditions down the road. And so, continuing protection from UV rays is extremely important.

UV radiation, which originates mostly from the sun, is made up of 2 categories of harmful rays: UV-A and UV-B. Despite the fact that only minimal amounts of UVA and UVB light enter the inner eye, the ocular tissue is incredibly susceptible to the dangerous effects of their rays. Small amounts of this kind of exposure can cause sunburnt eyes, often referred to as photokeratitis. When UVB rays enter the cornea, the outer cells are severely damaged, which can cause pain, blurred vision or temporary blindness. UVA rays can actually permeate the eye much deeper, causing harm to the retina. After several years, not being protected from UV rays can be responsible for substantial damage to the eyes and vision.

An ideal way to shield your eyes from UV rays is with high quality sunglasses. Be sure that your sunglasses or prescription eyewear block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Wearing an insufficient pair of sunglasses can actually be even worse than having no sunglasses at all. Basically, when sunglasses offer no UV protection, it means you're actually being exposed to more UV rays. The inadequate sunglasses tend to block some of the light, which causes the iris to open and allow even more light in. This means that even more UV will reach your retina. Always be sure that your sunglasses give maximum protection against UV.
Wearing a large sunhat or cap will also block roughly fifty percent of UV rays. These hats may also limit UV rays hitting your eyes from above or around glasses.


Speak to your optometrist about all of your UV protection choices, including, but not limited to, fixed tint sunglasses, adaptive lenses and polarized lenses.