Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory. They are also essential for shielding your eyes from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Unlike the sun’s visible light, invisible UV rays are energetic enough to damage your eyes and skin. As such, it pays to appreciate the value of UV protection and sunglasses as a defense against UV rays.
Your eyes may suffer both immediate and long-term harm from UV radiation. Short-term damage can include:
Photokeratitis: This painful inflammation of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) can cause redness, swelling, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light
Photoconjunctivitis: This is another inflammation, but this one affects the conjunctiva (the thin membrane covering the inner eyelids and the white area of the eye)
Pterygium: refers to the growth of tissue on the white part of the eye that can interfere with vision
Cataracts: the well-known clouding of the lens (the part of the eye that focuses light) that can cause blurry vision, glare, and reduced color perception
Macular degeneration: an impairment of the macula (the retina's central region, which is crucial for crisp vision) that can cause central vision loss
Skin cancer: a malignant growth of skin cells on or around the eyelids or other parts of the eye
By weakening your immune system and increasing your susceptibility to infections and allergies, UV radiation can negatively impact your general health.
You need sunglasses that stop 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays to keep your eyes safe from UV rays. UVA rays go deeper into your skin and eyes, while UVB rays are shorter and damage the surface more. Both can harm your eyes.
Here are some tips to help you choose sunglasses with UV protection:
Look for labels that say "UV 400" or "100% UV protection." These indicate the sunglasses block all UVA and UVB rays
Avoid labels that say "UV absorbing" or "blocks most UV light." These are vague and may not offer enough protection
Check the quality and fit of the sunglasses. The lenses should be free of scratches, bubbles, or distortions. The frames should fit snugly on your face and cover your eyes completely
The color and tint of the lenses do not affect their ability to block UV rays. However, some colors may enhance contrast or reduce glare better than others. For example, gray lenses reduce glare without changing colors, while brown lenses enhance contrast and depth perception. Design is a matter of personal preference, but wraparound or oversized sunglasses can be something to consider since they provide greater coverage and security.
Sunglasses are not just for fashion. They are vital for keeping your eyes safe from the harmful effects of UV rays. Ultraviolet radiation can harm your eyes in the short and long term and raise your chance of getting eye diseases and skin cancer.
To avoid this, you need sunglasses that stop 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. You must ensure they are good quality and fit well. You can pick the color and style that suit you. Doing these lets you have fun in the sun and keep your eyes healthy.
For more on the importance of UV protection in sunglasses, visit White Plains Eye Care at our White Plains, New York office. Call (914) 732-1732 to schedule an appointment today.