Thanks to efforts to create awareness of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) exposure to your skin, (such as sunburn and skin cancer), most know about the need for using sunblock and avoiding direct contact with the sun particularly during the blazing summer months. 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 tend to leave the house without proper eye protection, consider this: Extended contact with the sun's UV rays has been shown to cause damage to the eye.
UV Eye Damage
Exposure to large quantities of UV for a short interval can cause photokeratitis or a ''sunburn of the eye'', leading to pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can lead to more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause loss of sight. Just like the real thing, tanning beds pose a substantial threat of overexposure to UV.
Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses
To shield your eyes from dangerous UV rays, you should be careful to select sunglasses that completely block all UV rays. Look for sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which indicates 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. Sunglasses with side protection can prevent dangerous ultraviolet light from coming in through the sides and back of the frame.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on your sunglasses to have sufficient UV protection, but you should not make a purchase until you are sure the sunglasses give full UV defense. Many less expensive brands do offer proper defense against the dangerous effects of exposure to UV light. Further, as well as keeping your eyes protected from the hazards of UV exposure, trendy sunglasses are all the rage, so pick up a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!