As a result of ongoing efforts to increase knowledge of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) exposure to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer), most are familiar with the need for using sunblock and avoiding direct contact with the sun during outdoor activities. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation from the sun are also a risk to your eyes.
If you tend to face the sun without sunglasses, reconsider. Frequent contact with the sun's UV radiation has been seen to be a cause of damage to the eye.
UV Eye Damage
Exposure to excessive levels of ultraviolet radiation over a short interval can lead to photokeratitis meaning a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary vision loss. In the long run, UV exposure can cause more threatening eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can be a threat to vision. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at increased risk of exposure to UV radiation.
How to Choose Protective Sunglasses
For sufficient UV defense, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Look for sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which indicates that they prevent both UVA and UVB rays from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).
You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous UV rays from coming in through the rear of the sunglasses.
You don't have to spend a lot of money on your sunglasses to have sufficient UV coverage, but you should not buy anything unless you are certain the sunglasses offer complete solar protection. Many less-exclusive brands do offer proper UV defense. Further, as well as keeping your eyes protected from the dangers of UV exposure, trendy sunglasses are in style, so pick up a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!