Importance of UV Protection for the Eyes

Life on planet Earth can’t exist without the sun, which is both life-giving and dangerous. Its dangers come from ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunrays, which are harmful to your skin and eyes. It can also come from sources like lasers, welding machines, and tanning beds.

There are three kinds of UV radiation: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B are dangerous to your eyes as they have both long- and short-term destructive effects. UV-C dissipates as it goes through the ozone layer, eliminating any harm.

Short-term exposure to UV rays can inflame your corneas, injuring the conjunctiva. There are several issues you can avoid by using UV protection, such as sunglasses. Here are a few worth mentioning:

  • Eye Conditions Due to Aging: The common cause of blindness and visual impairment is cataracts. A cataract is a decrease in vision in the cloudy area of your eye lens. This disease progresses slowly and can affect both your eyes if you don’t seek medical intervention. Research shows that exposure to UV rays increases your risk of cataracts. The rays can cause macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. To avoid this, protect your eyes from UV radiation.


  • Sunburns: If you’re exposed to high amounts of UV radiation for a short time, you may experience photokeratitis. This is a rather painful sunburn on your eye. Symptoms include excessive watery eyes, sensitivity to light, and persistent eye sensation. However, snow with high albedo can also cause the same symptoms. Photokeratitis is an uncomfortable ailment, but you can avoid it by wearing proper eye protection.


  • Cancer: A fact that you may not know is that up to 10 percent of skin cancers start on eyelids. This is because the skin surrounding your eyes is delicate and thinner than the rest of your face. With this in mind, you can grasp the importance of suitable eyewear. Both the shape and size of your sunglasses matter if you’re to reduce the risk of skin cancer.


  • Sunglasses: To protect your eyes from UV radiation, you must ensure that your sunglasses have lenses that match in color without imperfection and distortion. They should reduce 75-90 percent of bright light and have grey lenses ideal for color recognition. Sunglasses should also block at least 99 percent of UV-B and UV-A rays.


If you engage in outdoor activities, ensure that you wear impact-resistant sunglasses. These glasses must have Trivex or polycarbonate as part of their materials. If you spend most of your time outside in the sunlight or high albedo snow, wraparound sunglasses are the best for you.


Extra Tips

  • Everyone is at risk of UV effects, especially senior citizens and children.
  • Looking directly at the sun increases your risk of getting solar retinopathy.
  • It’s good to wear a hat together with sunglasses.
  • Stay away from tanning beds.
  • Clouds don’t block UV rays.
  • The sun is strongest between midday and early afternoon.

For more information concerning the importance of UV protection for your eyes, visit Studio Optix at our office in New York, New York. You can also call (212) 765-4444 to book an appointment today.




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