Remember: Similar to a skin burn, eye surface burns usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life so PROTECT YOUR EYES!
To protect your eyes, wear a wide brimmed hat and the right kind of sunglasses when you are going to be exposed to UV light.
- Make sure sunglasses block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.
- If you spend time on the water or in the snow, consider purchasing goggles or sunglasses that wrap around your temples because they do not allow the sun’s rays to enter from the side, offering better protection.
- Remember sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to offer the right kind of UV protection. Even inexpensive glasses can protect your eyes if they offer 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection.
- Don’t forget the kids. Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Active people should NEVER wear sunglasses with glass lenses. These can shatter, lacerating eyes, with impacts from e.g. volleyball, frisbee and airbags.
In addition to the damage caused by repeated sun exposure over time, you need to protect your eyes from acute damage caused by a single day in the sun.
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light reflected off sand, snow or pavement can burn the eye’s surface. The same UV-A and UV-B rays that can damage your skin can harm your eyes as well. When you protect yourself from the sun, don’t just think sunscreen – think sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.
- Excessive, prolonged UV exposure may be linked to the development of eye conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Extensive or intense exposure to UV rays can cause “sunburn” on the surface of your eye. Similar to a skin sunburn, eye surface burns usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life so protect your eyes.
Recent studies have shown that prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays without protection may cause eye conditions that can lead to vision loss, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The more exposure to bright light, the greater the chances of developing these serious eye problems.
Sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat is the best defense system for your eyes. To be effective, both must be worn every time you’re outside for prolonged periods of time, even when it’s overcast or cloudy.
What type of sunglasses should you buy?
The most important thing is to purchase sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays. Don’t be misled by the color of the lens or the price tag dangling from the frame. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the darkness of the lens. UV protection comes from a chemical coating applied to the lens surface. With expensive sunglasses, you’re paying for style, frame quality and options such as scratch-resistant coatings, not protective ability.
Polycarbonate lenses are the lenses of choice and is the most shatter-resistant lens material currently available. It also filters 100% of UV, and even un-tinted polycarbonate gives adequate UV protection. To filter out bright light, especially in the “blue hazard” range, you should not get a blue lens which transmits the potentially harmful blue light wavelengths.
Neutral gray is a good choice because it does not change color values. Lenses tending towards amber are effective at filtering out blue light.
People who wish to avoid glare, in sports such as fishing, can have the lens custom made with a polarizing filter.
If sunglasses are desired for use in sports, look for a good plano product with excellent wind protection. For people that wear prescription eyewear, polycarbonate lenses can be placed in frames that pass standards appropriate for the intended use. Over-the-glasses polycarbonate sunshields are also available.