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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News and Events » Learn more about the Danger that Ultraviolet Rays can cause Your Eyes

Learn more about the Danger that Ultraviolet Rays can cause Your Eyes


Because of campaigns to create awareness of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most know about the need for using sunblock and using other forms of sun protection particularly during the blazing summer months. But did you know that ultraviolet rays and other harmful types of radiation from the sun also pose a threat to your eyes?

If you tend to leave the house without sunglasses, consider this: Prolonged absorption of the sun's ultraviolet rays has been linked to damage to the eye.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Exposure to excessive quantities of ultraviolet radiation over a short amount of time is known to lead to photokeratitis which means a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. Long-term UV exposure can cause more serious eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can be a threat to vision. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at increased risk of exposure to UV radiation.

UV Eye Protection

For sufficient UV protection, you should select sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV light. Stick with sunglasses that specify they are ''UV 400'', which indicates that they block all UV light from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous UV light from coming in through the rear of the sunglasses.

You don't have to pay a lot to have enough UV defense, but it's essential to be sure the sunglasses give full UV defense. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV defense. The great news is that as well as keeping your eyes safe from the dangers of UV exposure, stylish sunglasses are in style, so go buy yourself a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!