Because of measures to inform the public of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most know about the need for using UV blocking sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with the sun particularly during the blazing summer months. But did you know that UV and other radiation from the sun are also a risk to your eyes?
If you are considering going outside without sunglasses, think about this: Extended exposure to the sun's UV rays has been shown to cause damage to the eye.
Risks of UV Eye Exposure
Intense short term exposure to UV can lead to a ''sunburn of the eye'', leading to pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. In the long run, UV exposure can cause more threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can cause vision loss. Individuals that come into frequent contact with welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at heightened risk of exposure to UV radiation.
UV Eye Protection
To shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, sunglasses should keep out 100 percent of UV radiation. Look for sunglasses that specify they are ''UV 400'', which means that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere).
The size of your sunglasses is also important. Wraparound sunglasses can prevent harmful ultraviolet light from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.
It's not necessary to empty your pockets to have proper UV coverage, but it's essential to be sure the sunglasses offer complete UV protection. Many less-exclusive brands do offer proper UV coverage. The great news is that in addition to guarding your eyes from the harmful sunlight, stylish sunglasses are all the rage, so pick up a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!