Due to campaigns to increase knowledge of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most are aware of the need for applying UV blocking sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with the sun when spending time in the sun. 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 considering going outside without sunglasses, reconsider. Frequent exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation has been seen to be a cause of eye damage.
UV Risks to Vision
Intense short term exposure to UV can cause photokeratitis meaning a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can lead to more threatening eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can cause vision loss. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at increased risk of exposure to UV radiation.
Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses
To shield your eyes from dangerous UV rays, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Stick with sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they block all UV light from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).
You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous ultraviolet rays from entering from the rear of the sunglasses.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on your sunglasses to have enough UV coverage, but it's essential to be sure the sunglasses offer complete solar coverage. Many less expensive brands do offer proper defense against the threatening risks of exposure to sunlight. The great news is that in addition to keeping your eyes protected from the sun's harmful rays, trendy shades are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!