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Know the Dangers of UV to Your Eyes


The majority of Americans are familiar with the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (such as sunburn and skin cancer) and the necessity of applying sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with the sun particularly during the blazing summer months. But how many of us know that ultraviolet rays and other harmful types of radiation from the sun also pose a threat to your eyes?

If you often go out without sunglasses, consider this: Extended absorption of harmful UV light has been seen to be a cause of damage to the eye.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Exposure to large levels of ultraviolet radiation over a short interval is known to cause photokeratitis or a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can cause more threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause vision loss. Individuals that come into frequent contact with welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at heightened risk of exposure to UV radiation.

UV Eye Protection

For sufficient UV protection, you should be careful to only purchase sunglasses that completely block all UV rays. Stick with sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which indicates that they prevent all UV light from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Wraparound sunglasses can prevent dangerous UV light from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.

You don't have to pay a lot to have enough UV protection, but it's essential to be certain the sunglasses provide complete solar coverage. Many less-exclusive brands do offer proper UV defense. Further, as well as keeping your eyes safe from the sun's harmful rays, stylish sunglasses are in style, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!