UV Rays - How UV Light Affects Your Eyes And Sight

UV Rays Sunglasses

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Many people want to wear sunglasses to see better, and to reduce the glare of the bright sunlight. Sunglasses are in fact, to your health and overall wellness. Sunglasses do more than prevent your skin from developing wrinkles and helping you see better.

When worn consistently with time, sunglasses may save your eyes from cataracts, burnt corneas and other damaging effects the sun's ultraviolet radiation presents.

Sunglasses and UV
Ultraviolet radiation or light, often referred to as UV radiation, comes from the sun. There are different types of UV light, which many people do not know.

UVB rays are the most common rays to burn your skin and the ones most likely to burn or damage your eyes when exposed to the sun. For example, if you expose your eyes to UVB rays for too long, even on a windy, cold and snowy day, you may develop a serious condition known as photokeratitis. This condition is temporary, but can result in pain to the cornea.

There is also evidence that long-term exposure to bright UV light can contribute to worsening cataracts at younger ages.

UVA rays also pose some danger, as your eyes may absorb them. To this time there is little documentation that UVA rays cause the same damage that UVB rays do, however you should find sunglasses that protect you from both.

In some places where bright sunlight is common, scientists measure the threat of UV damage you may be exposed to on any given day. They do this using a scale that ranks UV light from one to eleven, indicating how much UV light is available and enforcing the need for sunglasses and other protective wear on given days.

Buying the Right Sunglasses
Now that you understand how dangerous UV radiation can be, you'll want to learn how to protect your eyes from UV damage. When it comes to buying sunglasses, no two pairs are alike.

You can invest in a $10 pair of glasses, but if you do, you better make sure they protect your eyes fully from UVA and UVB radiation. The lenses should be large enough to cover your entire eye, and you should not feel the need to squint on walking outside when wearing your sunglasses.

Some manufacturers now provide labels that list how much UVA or UVB light their products protect against. If you find sunglasses you like, try to find those that block at minimum 60-70% of UVA and UVB light rays.

The best protection naturally comes from sunglasses that offer protection in the 90th percentile, meaning they protect against 90% or more of the radiation that penetrates from the sky.

Now, how can you be certain your sunglasses will protect you from the sun? The best protection is full body protection. You should invest in a quality pair of sunglasses if possible, from a reputable manufacturer. You can combine wearing your sunglasses with a large rimmed hat to provide further protection, and help protect the skin around your eyes and face.

Sunglasses and Cold Months
It is just as important to wear sunglasses during cold winter months as it is during the summer. In fact, in areas where snow falls, bright light reflects off the snow causing even more exposure to UV light. Thus, your risk for UV light exposure is higher during snowy, cold months.

You might consider investing in sunglasses for the summer and the winter. Most manufacturers provide brands with different features, some of which are better for summer and others for winter. If you plan to ski or enjoy outdoor sports in the winter, make sure you get a good pair of goggles or sport sunglasses with a wraparound grip like the many styles Nike makes.

When you invest in good sunglasses, you invest in your health. Just do it!

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