It is widely accepted knowledge that ultraviolet rays cause skin damage like sunburns or skin cancer. Many don't know though that UV rays are just as damaging to the eyes, so it is essential to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays to avoid significant problems later.
For complete protection, you want to block 100% of the ultraviolet radiation from your eyes. For sunglasses, that means finding a pair that is labeled UV400 for full protection against UV rays. If the sunglasses do not have a label, they probably will not be effective in protecting your eyes. Even if you wear contacts, you still want to make sure your sunglasses protect you from UV radiation.
Do not be fooled by the darkness of the lens, as a dark lens will not stop the UV rays unless they are UV-specific sunglasses. You also want to look for a larger pair of sunglasses, since oversized or wraparound frames can help reduce the amount of radiation that reaches your eyes. If you need prescription sunglasses, they will usually have complete UV protection as part of the package deal.
Prescription lenses come with a variety of options that can sometimes be overwhelming, but the one thing you do not want to skimp on is the UV coating. While you may not spend much time outside in your daily-wear eyeglasses, you still want to protect your eyes in the moments that you are outside. UVA and UVB rays will cause damage over time if your eyes are not covered, so it's important to be on your guard.
Not wearing protection for your eyes can lead to damage to your retina as well as inflammation to your eyes. When it is cloudy outside, you still want to wear eyeglasses or sunglasses with UV protection if you go out.
Children’s eyes develop over many years. It is essential to have children wear hats to cut down on UV exposure when they play outside. Once they are comfortable wearing glasses, it is a fantastic idea to have them wear sunglasses as well.
As children get older and become teens, they will have built habits of wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses, ensuring their eyes are protected. Once they are adults, their eyes will be better off because of these choices they have made throughout their lives. Around 25% of the total UV damage happens before you reach 20 years old, especially for kids who spend lots of time outdoors.
Taking a proactive approach to taking care of your eyes and your children’s eyes can reduce the risk of developing cataracts as you get older. Making your eyes a priority means protecting them from UV rays as best you can.
To learn more about the benefits of UV protection in sunglasses and eyeglasses, contact Vision Tech Optometry Center, Inc. in Waynesboro, Virginia at 540-215-8361 to schedule an appointment.