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Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

It's a fact that basically everybody is exposed to UV rays. However, the possible risks related to many years of exposure to these harsh rays are rarely thought about, to a point where most people barely take enough action to shield their eyes, even when they're expecting to be outside for an extended period of time. UV overexposure is dangerous and cannot be reversed, and may cause more than a few serious, sight-damaging diseases down the road. And so, continuing protection from these rays is equally important for everybody.

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B, both of which are unsafe. Despite the fact that only tiny amounts of UVA and UVB light enter the inner eye, the ocular tissue is incredibly vulnerable to the harmful effects of their rays. Intense, short-term of exposure can result in sunburn of the eye, also known as photokeratitis. When UVB rays enter the cornea, the cells that make up its exterior are severely damaged, which can be expressed as pain, blurred vision or temporary blindness. UVA rays actually penetrate much deeper into the eye, which harms to the retina. Over time, exposure to UV rays may be responsible for considerable damage to the eyes.

An ideal way to shield your eyes from UV rays is by wearing quality sunglasses. Be sure that your sunglasses or prescription eyewear block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. An unsatisfactory pair of sunglasses can sometimes be worse than wearing no sun protection at all. Consider this: if your sunglasses don't offer any UV protection, you're actually being exposed to more UV rays. Such sunglasses will reduce the light, forcing the iris to open and let more light in. This means that more UV will reach the retina. Always be sure that your sunglasses offer effective UV protection.

Make an appointment to speak with your optometrist about the various UV protection choices, including, but not limited to, adaptive lenses, polarized lenses and fixed tint sunglasses.