It's a fact: almost everybody is regularly exposed to UV rays. But the possible dangers related to long-term exposure to these unsafe rays are rarely considered, and the majority of people barely take enough action to guard their eyes, even if they're expecting to be out in the sun for long periods of time. Overexposure to UV is dangerous and cannot be reversed, and can cause more than a few severe, vision-stealing conditions in older age. And so, continuing protection from UV rays is extremely important.
There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B, both of which are harmful. Even though only tiny amounts of UVA and UVB light reach the inner eye, the eye cells are very susceptible to the harmful effects of their rays. Even in the short term, small amounts of exposure can cause sunburnt eyes, or photokeratitis. When the cornea receives UVB rays, the surrounding cells are significantly damaged, and this can be expressed as pain, blurred vision or in serious cases, temporary blindness. UVA rays can actually enter the eye more deeply, which causes damage to the retina.
One of the best ways to protect your eyes from UV rays is with quality sunglasses. Ensure that your sunglasses or regular glasses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. An unsatisfactory pair of sunglasses can be even worse than having no sun protection at all. Think about it this way: when your sunglasses don't give you any UV protection, you are actually increasing your exposure to UV rays. The inadequate sunglasses will reduce the light, which causes the iris to open and allow even more light in. This means that even more UV will hit the retina. Always be sure that your sunglasses give effective protection against UV.
Make an appointment to speak with your eye care professional about the various UV protection options, which include fixed tint sunglasses, adaptive lenses and polarized lenses.