UV rays are electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. They are high-energy, invisible lights, which are generally divided into three sub-bands: UVA or near UV, UVB or middle UV, and UVC or far UV. The earth’s atmosphere absorbs UVC and partially blocks UVB. UVA, on the other hand, is not blocked at all and can burn the skin.
Yes. Many people generally take precautions to protect their skin against harmful UV radiation. But, some are unaware of how important it is also to protect their eyes against UV damage.
The sun’s rays are the most powerful sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. However, dazzling light and reflections anytime during the day can also give you a problem. If you were spending time outdoors, such as around water, snow, or sand, it would be best to wear your UV protective glasses. If you are driving, your windshields can be a significant source of harmful glare too.
Too much exposure to UV rays can lead to temporary sunburn or permanent damage in certain parts of your eyes. You may experience eye discomfort, such as eye pain, tearing, redness, swelling, headache, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light. You may also see halos, and experience a twitching sensation in your eyelids, or a gritty feeling as if you have sand in your eyes.
Studies show that long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight can result in or worsen age-related conditions. These include cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions that can severely
compromise your vision’s health.
Your corrective eyeglasses cannot replace glasses with UV protection. This is because your usual glasses will not provide the same visual protection as they don’t prevent bright light nor polarized dazzling light. Besides, UV protective glasses have frames that are often larger. This will better block UV rays, thus lessening harmful reflections into your eyes.
The best way to protect your eyes from the sun is by using UV protective sunglasses that block as close to 100 percent of UV rays as possible. Avoid gazing directly at the sun, and wear a wide-brimmed hat in addition to wearing your glasses with the right UV protection. Specific contact lenses are also designed to offer protection from UV light. But, they do not shield your eyes completely, so there’s still a need to use sunglasses. You may also want to think about wearing wrap-around glasses to protect your eyes better. Lastly, avoid exposure to UV rays even when it’s cloudy.
Do you have other questions about how you can better shield your eyes from UV rays? Our team of experts at NorthWest Ohio Vision Center will be happy to give you the answers. Visit our clinic today in Bryan, Ohio, or call us at (419) 452-4830 for more information.