With the world assiduously fighting off the Pandemic and its aftereffects, it behooves us to protect ourselves and our health in areas we know we can easily manage. One of these areas is our eye health and protecting our eyes from the damaging ultraviolet rays.

Protect your eyes from sun damage in every season

Ultraviolet (UV) eye protection is extremely important. While the UV rays are stronger in the summer months, UV radiation from the sun is present in the atmosphere irregardless of the season and whether it is sunny or cloudy outside.  It is not something that is visible to the eye, however it is there.

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How can ultraviolet (UV) rays harm your eyes?

We are all aware how damaging the sun can be on your skin, but UV is also dangerous to the eyes.  Not only can it damage the skin on your eyelids, but also your cornea, lens and retina. This can happen because UV rays have more energy than visible light and so can penetrate ocular tissue much easier. Damage from UV rays to the eyes can lead to the development of cataracts, small growths on the eye called pingueculas and pterygiums. It can also promote the development of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness. These damages caused or promoted by UV rays are irreversible and many occur gradually.

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What is the best UV protection?

As with many things, sensitivity to UV varies from person to person, and certain medications can induce stronger sensitivities. The best protection against the risk of UV damage comes from wearing eyeglasses that provide a UV filter. Lenses can be UV protected without a tint colour since clear, UV blocking coatings are available for all lenses.

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The darkness of the tint, or even the presence of a tint is actually irrelevant as long as there is a UV filter in the lens. In fact sunglasses that are not treated for UV protection are actually more harmful than not wearing sunglasses. The dark lens allows the pupil to dilate, hence allowing more UV radiation than without the lenses.

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It is therefore of utmost importance to ensure that your sunglasses have the necessary UV protection built into the lenses. Make sure that these sunglass lenses offer UV400, which provides you with 100% UVA and 100% UVB protection.

Without a doubt UV protection matters.