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Home » What's New » Do You Know the Dangers of Ultraviolet Light to Your Eyes?

Do You Know the Dangers of Ultraviolet Light to Your Eyes?


As a result of ongoing education to increase knowledge of the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation to your skin, (such as sunburn and skin cancer), most are aware of the need for using sunscreen and using other protective measures particularly during the blazing summer months. What is less known is that UV and other types of radiation from the sun can also cause severe damage to your eyes.

If you are thinking of leaving the house without proper eye protection, consider this: Continual contact with harmful ultraviolet radiation has been shown to cause eye damage.

UV Eye Damage

Excessive UV exposure over a short interval is known to cause a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can result in more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can be a threat to vision. Just like the real thing, tanning beds present a serious risk of overexposure to UV.

UV Eye Protection

To shield your eyes from threatening UV rays, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Stick with sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which indicates that they prevent both UVA and UVB rays (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

The size of your sunglasses is also important. Sunglasses with side protection can prevent dangerous ultraviolet light from entering from the sides and back of the frame.

Those whose work or recreation involves lengthy exposure to light from the sun are at greatest risk for UV eye damage. Ultraviolet radiation can be bounced off of bright surfaces such as snow, water, and white sand and presents the greatest threat from 10 am to 3 pm and throughout the summer months. Exposure to UV becomes more substantial nearer to the equator and at high altitudes. It's important to speak to an eye care professional and to be aware of the hazards of UV exposure. Simply wearing your sunglasses can make a world of difference for your precious eyesight.