We’re one degree closer to summer, sunshine and long, warm days! Trips to the pool, vacations to the beach or outdoor fun with family and friends! It is great to be outside without being bundled up – but you still need to cover up… with sunscreen. Everyone is aware of the dangers of UV light to the skin but how about the potential damage done to the eyes? Moreover, most people are often unaware of the other ways our eyes are exposed to UV light.
First, there are several types of UV light, some are absorbed by the ozone layer in the atmosphere. But UV-A and UV-B penetrates through the ozone and can damage your skin and eyes. Even short-term exposure can be extremely harmful, especially if concentrated in high amounts, like with certain types of welding or tanning beds. This type of exposure causes a keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea, like a sunburn of the eye.
Over time, UV light can increase the risk of Macular Degeneration – the leading cause of vision loss in those over the age 65 in the United States. It can cause cataracts to form and progress faster. Just like damage to the skin, sunglasses with UV protection should be worn at an early age because it’s the continuous exposure over time that increases the long-term risks.
Sunglasses should be able to block at least 90% of UV light with side wraps. Beware of the color – just because lenses are dark does not mean they have UV protection. Also, Polarized lenses are a nice alternative option to cut out glare.
Another type of light to be concerned with is short wave blue light as these can cause the same issues as UV light. This type of wavelength is emitted from devices such as smartphones, LEDs and computers. If you use these devices or this type of lighting on a regular basis, there are coatings that can be put on the lenses in your glasses to protect your eyes.
So enjoy the summer – just ensure your eyes can too and take every preventative step toward healthy eyes that last a lifetime!
Healthy Eyes That Last a Lifetime