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The summer season means spending lots of time outdoors and soaking up the sun. However, are you aware of the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to UV rays on your eyes? 


Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays can increase your risk of developing various eye conditions. These include pterygium, cataracts, and macular degeneration. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, these conditions can cause vision loss.


UV rays are invisible. However, they can cause irreversible damage to your eyes if you fail to take proactive measures such as wearing sunglasses with UV protection. It would help if you did so even on cloudy days since not all sunglasses provide 100 percent protection. It would be best to learn how to identify sunglasses that provide proper UV protection.


UV Safety Month


July is UV Safety Awareness Month, an excellent time to protect your delicate eyes from UV radiation. Most people love to spend lots of time outdoors during the summer months. However, many forget to protect their eyes and skin from the potentially damaging effects of the sun.


The sun radiates both UVA and UVB rays, which can damage your skin and eyes. The former have longer wavelengths, while the latter have shorter wavelengths. UVA rays can penetrate the middle layer of the skin. On the other hand, UVB rays reach the skin’s outer layer. 


As the UV safety month approaches, you need to understand the risks associated with prolonged sun exposure and take the proper precautions to protect your eyes and skin. That will allow you to enjoy the outdoors safely. 


Importance of UV Protection in Sunglasses


You know that you should not stare at the sun. However, do you know how to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light? If not, the first thing you need to understand is what UV rays are and how they can harm your eyes.


The sun emits three types of UV rays, categorized by their wavelengths. Short-term exposure to UV rays can lead to temporary sunburn of the skin and eyes. Over time, ultraviolet exposure can cause severe and permanent damage. Conditions that can result from long-term UV exposure include:


  • Skin cancer of the eyelids

  • Macular degeneration

  • Cataracts

  • Growth in the cornea that can lead to vision loss


How to Choose Eyewear With UV Protection


The basic design of most sunglasses is the same. However, some glasses provide a higher level of UV protection than others. Sunglasses can be polarized or UV rays protective. That said, there are varying degrees of protective properties. Therefore, you need to learn how to choose the right sunglasses for your needs. Look for sunglasses that conform to the highest standards for UV protection. Your eye doctor can help you make the right choice.


How Much UV Protection Should Your Sunglasses Provide?


The AOA recommends sunglasses that provide between 99 percent and 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. They should also screen out between 75 percent and 90 percent of visible light.   


For more eye safety or to schedule an appointment with our team, call Berris Optical at 440-571-7100 to reach our office in Rocky River, Ohio. 

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