Ah, the sunshine! It’s warm, inviting, gives us vitamin D, provides life to everything, and we often think about summer fun when we are out in the sun. The sun is important, but the rays can also pose certain dangers to our skin and our eyes. The damage the UV rays can do to our eyes isn’t talked about as much as our skin and therefore can be even more dangerous! But worry not, we are here to fill you in on everything you need to know about protecting your eyes from those potential dangers.
First, let’s have a quick reminder of UV radiation. There are three types:
UV-C is the shortest wavelength and is absorbed by the ozone layer. So it poses no threat to us here on the surface.
UV-B is a medium-wavelength and usually can’t get through more than the first few layers of our skin.
UV-A is the longest-wavelength and poses the highest risk to long term damage to our skin and eyes.
So, now that we have had a quick review, we can talk about HOW to protect our eyes from these damaging rays and WHY we need to. The best news about this? Protecting your eyes is easy and fun!
Big question… why is the sun so damaging to our eyes? Usually people have knowledge about the sun damaging our skin. It can lead to skin cancer if you don’t protect yourself regularly, which you definitely should! So, what happens to our eyes if they’re not protected?
Short -term exposure can cause damage such as sunburn or photokeratitis. This condition isn’t permanent but can be very painful.
Long -term exposure and damage can raise the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer. Many of these conditions can lead to vision loss.
Don’t get too worried! There is a simple solution to protect your eyes--sunglasses.
Seriously, that’s it! If you make sure the sunglasses you buy and wear have UV protection in the lens...you’re good.
It is so important to know that your sunglasses have that UV protection in the lens. A lot of them we find in our local department store are only tinted lenses to help with how bright the sun is...they don’t actually have the protection we need for our eyes. Luckily our eye doctors have the knowledge and inventory to provide that protection to you and your family.
It’s highly important to protect your eyes as strictly as you protect your skin from the sun. And with such a simple solution to do that, we should all be wearing sunglasses (regardless of the season). Good thing sunglasses can be stylish too!