Most people know that UV rays cause damage to the skin. And a lot more people need not be reminded to slather on some sunscreen before getting under the harsh grip of the sun. However, very few people understand how badly these same UV rays can affect their eyes. So it wouldn’t be uncommon to find people focusing more on protecting their skin from UV rays rather than their eyes.
The truth remains that UV rays cause even more damage to the eyes than they do to the skin. Prolonged failure to protect your eyes from this damage can deteriorate your vision over time.
How UV Rays Damage Your Eyes
Of the two basic rays from the sun, UVA rays penetrate the eye further than UVB rays. This penetrative feature of the UVA rays causes it to damage a part of your retina known as the macula. And damage to this essential part of the eye can affect your overall vision, specifically your central vision.
On the other hand, UVB rays burn your lens and cornea, leading to more obvious damage than the UVA rays. When you continually expose your eyes to sun rays, you risk suffering the following eye conditions:
- Corneal sunburn,
- Deterioration of the macula,
- Eyelid cancer, and
Eye Protection Tips
It becomes apparent that your eyes need some protection from the sun, the same way you do it for your skin. The tips below will help you keep your eyes safe from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays:
Go For 100% Protection Sunglasses.
It isn’t uncommon to find people rocking all kinds of fashionable sunshades at the beach or on sunny days. But beyond fashion, do you know that your sunglasses are your eyes’ saving grace from the sun’s wrath? If you have already had vision correction or do not need spectacles, you should opt for 100% protection sunglasses but if you are still wearing contact lenses, ensure they are UV blocking CLs.
While purchasing sunglasses, always go for glasses with UV400 or 100% protection from UV rays. And instead of elegance, buy sunglasses that can give your eyes 360° protection from the sun. You can also consult your optician or eye specialist for some sunshade recommendations.
Beef Up Your Protection with a Hat
It might seem a bit awkward going about with sunglasses that wrap around your eyes. But if you add a hat to your fashionable shades, you’ll be further protecting your eyes. Don’t also forget to go wide-brimmed.
The Clouds Can Be Deceptive
Another way to protect your eyes from UV damage is to avoid the sun when it’s at its peak. When you expose yourself to UV rays at times between 10:00 am and 04:00 pm, you’re more likely to get your eyes burned by these rays. So, if you must be out at mid-day, don’t forget to gear up for the UV battle.
The clouds can also be misleading, making you think they’re keeping you safe from the sun. Please don’t fall for it. Always protect yourself whenever you have to step out at mid-day, cloudy or sunny.
You Don’t Need to See the Sun
Sometimes, nature can look so alluring that you’d want to enjoy a nice view of the sun. Don’t get carried away. Looking directly at the sun can cause your eyes a lot of damage – even with your UV shades on. So, the next time you’re experiencing an eclipse in your region, look for safer ways to behold the giant house of heat.
UV rays also have the ability to reflect off different surfaces like tables, floors and even sand. This is something to keep in mind next time you’re in the shade and thinking you’re being safe.
The best way to protect your eyes from sun damage is to understand the consequences of your actions whenever you’re in the sun. And in addition to slathering on some expensive sunscreen, you won’t forget that your eyes need protection as well.
Better To Be Safe Than Sorry
No matter what time of the year it is we need to remember that UV rays are always present even though it may not appear sunny and warm. Always do your best to protect your skin and your eyes from UV rays by whatever means necessary. While damage and deterioration may not be present straight away, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen further down the line.