Why You Need Good UV Eye Protection

Couple riding bikes on the beach smiling wearing prescription sunglasses uv protection

Our eyes are always at work, but we often overlook their well-being. You should take good care of your eyes because they can be easily damaged. One major culprit is excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can harm our eyes regardless of weather conditions and cloudiness.

This July, the EyeCare Associates team in Alabama wants to talk about the harmful effects of UV exposure and the importance of UV eye protection during UV Safety Awareness Month. We want you to prioritize your eye health while you’re outside this month.

What are UV Rays?

UV rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation that can come from both the sun and artificial sources. Among them, UVA and UVB rays are the ones that reach the Earth's surface. 

While UV rays contribute to the production of Vitamin D, which is crucial for our health, too much exposure can lead to sunburns and serious conditions like cancer. Protecting your eyes becomes essential for maintaining overall well-being.

How Do UV Rays Affect Your Eyes?

Extended and unprotected exposure to UV rays can result in several eye conditions:

Pterygia

A Pterygium is a growth of tissue on the white part of the eye that can develop from being in the presence of UV radiation for too long. It can be uncomfortable and make your eyes red.

Photokeratitis

Photokeratitis is essentially a sunburn of the eyes. It occurs due to prolonged exposure to intense UV rays and can cause severe pain, eye redness, excessive watering, tearing, blurred vision, and discomfort. Although temporary, multiple occurrences of photokeratitis can damage your eyes severely and for the rest of your life.

Cataracts

If you like to be out in the sun a lot and don't protect your eyes, cataracts can develop more quickly. Cataracts cloud your eyes and can block vision. If left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness, requiring you to get them surgically removed.

Macular Degeneration

UV radiation is closely linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that mainly affects the central area of the retina. It can distort or blur your vision. If you have a bad case of AMD, you might lose your vision temporarily or become blind. This condition mostly affects people that are 50 years old or older. 

You Need Great Eye Protection

Good UV protection will help you keep healthy eyes: 

UV Exposure Stacks Up Over Time

UV radiation damage stacks up over time, so you’ll want to limit the damage if you can. With the info you have now, you’ll want to make sure that you protect your children’s eyes anytime they are outside. You don’t want them to lose their vision when they get older!

Protect Yourself the Entire Year

UV rays are out there throughout the year, even on cloudy days. Therefore, wearing sunglasses with good UV eye protection is key for whenever you spend time outdoors for a long time.

What Sunglasses are Best for UV Protection?

When choosing sunglasses, it's not just about style. You need to prioritize both eye safety and aesthetics:

Coverage and Fit

Consider sunglasses with a wrap-around design or large lenses for the best UV protection. These styles effectively help stop sunlight from reaching your eyes. Additionally, make sure that your sunglasses fit well to avoid gaps that allow sunlight to penetrate. If your shades are too big, then they might fall off or leave your face exposed. Glasses that are too small may not fully cover your eyes.

High-Quality Lenses

You’ll want your sunglasses to provide clear vision and also protect you against harmful rays. Not only is UV ray blocking important to keep your eyes safe, but having clear vision is another important safety aspect.

UV Blocking

Ensure your sunglasses provide 100% UVA and UVB ray protection. Avoid cheap convenience store shades, as they likely won't protect your eyes well enough.

Polarized Lenses

To stop the glare and to keep your vision clear, we recommend polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are especially great when you’re driving. They do a good job of minimizing glare and they are nice to look through, particularly in high sunlight and UV ray conditions.

Contact EyeCare Associates in Alabama Today

We know you want to spend time outside this summer, but make sure you do it safely! EyeCare Associates will help you find great sunglasses that you can wear while enjoying the weather outside. With multiple locations across Alabama, expert eye care and help with eye health are always within reach. Contact us today to learn more about sunglasses' role in UV eye protection and discover steps you can take to maintain healthy eyes. Schedule an appointment at EyeCare Associates and browse our sunglasses shop to find a pair you’ll love!

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