Why it’s important to protect your eyes from UV-A and UV-B rays
UV rays (ultraviolet rays) are a form of electromagnetic radiation naturally present in sunlight. They are divided into three categories based on their wavelength: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.
UV-C rays are the shortest and most energetic, but they do not reach the Earth’s surface as they are filtered by the ozone layer in the atmosphere. UV-A and UV-B rays, on the other hand, are able to reach the Earth’s surface.
UV-A rays have a longer wavelength and penetrate deeply into the skin, while UV-B rays have a shorter wavelength and cause sunburns more often. Both can cause damage to the skin and eyes if exposed for long periods of time without adequate protection.
It is important to protect yourself from UV rays by using sunglasses and sunscreen with UV protection, especially during peak sun exposure hours.
What does prolonged UV exposure do to our eyes?
Prolonged exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays can cause various damages to the eyes.
UV-B rays, in particular, can cause keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the transparent membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and the white part of the eye), and photokeratitis (a type of corneal sunburn). Long-term repeated exposure to UV-B rays can also contribute to the development of cataracts (opacity of the eye’s lens) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a common cause of vision loss in older adults.
UV-A rays can cause premature aging of the retina, increasing the risk of cataracts and AMD. Additionally, UV-A rays can also damage the outer surface of the eye, causing inflammation of the conjunctiva and iris.
For this reason, it is important to protect the eyes from UV exposure by using sunglasses with lenses that filter both UV-A and UV-B rays and wearing them even in conditions of indirect or covered sunlight.
What type of lenses should you choose to protect your eyes from UV rays?
To protect your eyes from the damage caused by UV rays, it is important to choose lenses for sunglasses that have good UV protection. When purchasing sunglasses, it is important to check that the lenses have a label or description indicating the percentage of UV filtering.
High-quality lenses should have 100% UV protection for both UV-A and UV-B categories, which means they absorb all harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses can also be helpful in reducing glare and improving visual clarity in bright light conditions, such as light reflected off snow or water surfaces.
It is important to choose quality lenses so that they protect the eyes from UV rays and do not limit vision or cause eye fatigue. Additionally, one can consider using colored lenses, which can improve contrast perception and reduce eye strain in certain situations, such as in bright light or foggy conditions.