Summer may be coming to an end soon, but people are still getting outside every chance they can get.
While you try to soak up the final rays of the summer season, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) is emitted from the sun and can cause sunburns and in extreme cases, skin cancer. Although skin is the most commonly discussed victim of the sun, your eyes are also at risk.
Through extended exposure, UV and HEV (High-Energy Visible) rays have been shown to increase chances of eye-health issues such as:
UV radiation can damage lens proteins in the same way that oxygen triggers harmful oxidative reactions in the lens which cause cataracts.
A condition that comes with age due to extended damage to the retina. UV radiation is said to contribute to the damage, so protecting yourself should help prolong your eye health.
Pinguecula and Pterygium
Growths that can appear on the surface of the eye. They can be caused by irritated eyes from dryness or extended exposure to the sun (UV rays).
Sometimes referred to as “snow-blindness”. Victims may experience loss of vision for 24-48 hours after extended exposure to the sun. The most common occurrences are on ski hills or on beaches when the sun is reflecting off the ground.
While you can try and avoid the sun with hats or staying in the shade, sometimes you just want to get out and enjoy the rays to the fullest. For cases like these, use sunglasses!
Many sunglasses can protect from 99%-100% of UV rays through the lenses. One thing to keep in mind is that not all rays will access your eyes through the lenses, they can get into your eyes from all directions around the glasses. For total coverage look for a wrap-around pair of frames that fit closer to your face and protect from all directions.
These issues do not just affect adults, children can experience them as well in extreme cases and starting to protect your eyes at a young age can help prevent vision issues in the future.
In addition to sun damage, a failure to use sunglasses can lead to stress on your eyes and squinting, which can cause wrinkles or headaches. For the ultimate performance in your sunglasses, you can also add polarized lenses. They will reduce glare and brightness through your lenses.
Visit your local Hakim Optical store for some personalized advice on what glasses will work best for you.