It is common knowledge that being out in the sun for too long can damage your skin. It can darken your skin, cause skin burns or, in extreme cases, even skin cancer. However, did you know that the UV rays emitted from the sun are harmful to your eyes as well? Your Pleasanton, CA optometrists want to remind you that as you spend your summer outdoors, be sure to protect your eyes with proper eyewear.
Types Of UV Rays
There are 3 types of UV rays which are emitted by the sun.
This is the most harmful category of UV rays emitted by the sun. They are absorbed by the ozone layer. However, with the ozone layer depleting, UV-C rays may be allowed to reach the Earth’s surface.
These rays are known to have longer wavelengths and lower energy as compared to UV-C rays. Although they are also partially filtered out by the ozone layer, they still reach the earth’s surface. These rays can cause your skin to darken and increase the production of melanin. In high doses, these rays can even cause skin cancer and cause premature aging. They can also cause pterygia and corneal problems, leading to a loss of vision. It can even cause photokeratitis. The cornea seems to absorb these rays which is why they are not linked with causing cataracts or macular degeneration.
These rays have lower energy than UV-B and UV-C rays. They can easily pass through your cornea to your retina. High doses of UV-A rays are known to cause the development of cataracts and even macular degeneration.
High-energy visible radiation is also known as blue light. They have longer wavelengths and lower energy levels than UV rays. However, they penetrate deeply into the cornea. Not only does the sun emit this kind of radiation but devices such as smartphones and laptops do as well. Even LED and fluorescent bulb lights emit this radiation. It slowly causes macular degeneration and loss of central vision with time.
Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Eyes
Your eyes are exposed to UV radiation whenever you are out. It is absolutely crucial for you to take steps to protect your eyes, especially for children. Wear sunglasses which offer protection from UV rays. Even some eyeglasses offer this protection. Other than that, always wear a hat or a cap.
If you spend more time outdoors, make sure you wear sunglasses which have lenses made out of polycarbonate. Make sure that they block 90 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Also, consider wearing wraparound frames so that every corner of your eye is protected from the UV rays. Your sunglasses should screen out 75 to 90% of visible light. Moreover, make sure the lenses you get are perfectly matched in color. Preferably light amber or dark grey in color.
Wear your sunglasses or lenses even when the weather is cloudy or you are under a shade. Remember that the UV rays are rays and not light. They can easily pass through clouds and still hit the earth’s surface. Moreover, shades can protect you from UV rays but the UV rays may be reflected off of buildings or roads and cars.
Find your perfect pair of sunglasses at Hacienda Park Optometry to start protecting your eyes today!