Most people understand that exposure to ultraviolet light in the sun’s rays can lead to sunburns or cause skin cancer. However, not as many people realize that UV light can harm their eyes as well, potentially leading to some serious health problems.
By wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection, you can prevent at least some of these harmful rays from reaching your eyes. If you want to know more about why UV sunglasses are important, here’s what you need to know.
Eye Problems and UV Light
Exposure to UV rays from the sun has been linked to several eye-related issues. Cataracts, photokeratitis, macular degeneration, pterygia, and pinguecula have all been connected to UV exposure, either as a potential cause or as something that can accelerate the condition.
Additionally, uveal melanoma is the most common form of eye cancer and is strongly connected to exposure to UV rays. It isn’t unlike most melanomas that show up on the skin; it is just limited to the eye area.
Understanding UV Light
UV rays are part of the light spectrum, though these rays aren’t detectable by the naked eye. Also known as ultraviolet radiation, UV rays fall into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
UVC is potentially the most harmful form, but the atmosphere’s ozone layer blocks nearly all UVC rays. UVB does make it through the atmosphere to a degree, and the cornea can absorb 100 percent of these rays, potentially leading to photokeratitis, pinguecula, and pterygium.
UVA has the ability to pass through the cornea and reach the retina and lens. Overexposure has been linked to some forms of cataracts, and it may lead to the development of macular degeneration.
Why UV Sunglasses are Important
UV sunglasses are often the best form of protection against potentially harmful UV rays. The lenses can prevent the UV rays from making their way to your eyes, reducing your level of exposure dramatically when the sunglasses are worn.
If you want the best possible protection, look for sunglasses that block 100% of every type of UV ray. Additionally, opt for wraparound sunglasses, as they cover the eyes more completely.
Sunglass lenses don’t necessarily have to be dark to be effective against UV rays. Even lighter or less opaque lenses can perform well if they are treated with the right coatings.
Prescription and non-prescription sunglasses can be made with UV-blocking lenses. If you would like to learn more about UV sunglasses or want to have an eye exam to make sure your eyes are healthy, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our experienced ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians work diligently to maintain the health of the eyes of our patients, including identifying eye problems that may be the result of overexposure to harmful UV light. Additionally, our optical shop can help you select lenses that will protect you from potentially damaging UV rays, ensuring your eyes are always protected.
Book An Appointment Today!
If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists at Eye Care and Vision Associates please call 716.631-EYES (3937) or visit www.ecvaeyecare.com .