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UV Awareness Month – Protect Your Vision

 

As a result of ongoing efforts to create awareness of the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) exposure to your skin, (particularly sunburn and skin cancer), most are familiar with the importance of applying sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with the sun when spending time in the sun. But how many are aware that UV and other radiation from the sun are also a danger to your eyes?

If you tend to go out without proper eye protection, think about this: Continual exposure to the sun's UV rays has been linked to damage to the eye.

UV Risks to Eyesight

Exposure to large amounts of ultraviolet radiation for a short interval is known to lead to a ''sunburn on the eye'', leading to pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. Long-term UV exposure can cause more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can be a threat to vision. Individuals that come into frequent contact with welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at increased risk of exposure to UV radiation.

UV Eye Protection

For sufficient ultraviolet defense, sunglasses should keep out 100 percent of UV radiation. Stick with shades labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere).

You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Wraparound sunglasses can block harmful UV light from entering from the sides and back of the frame.

It's not necessary to pay a lot to have proper UV defense, but you should not make a purchase until you are certain the sunglasses give full UV defense. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV defense. The great news is that as well as defending your eyes from the harmful sunlight, stylish shades are all the rage, so pick up a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!