Choose the right protection for your eyes.
The nature of ultra violet light
Ultraviolet light is a type of radiation that comes mostly from the sun but can also be created by artificial light sources. Just as UV rays can cause sunburns, they can also damage your eyes.
Rays that can be harmful
In the front part of the eye, the cornea and crystalline lens filter the UV rays by absorbing them. This prevents UV rays from penetrating further into the body, but it also means that the cornea and crystalline lens are strongly exposed to the effects of UV rays.
As a result, damage to the eye can happen in early adult life for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Cataracts, which occur when the crystalline lens becomes clouded, have also been found to be related to UV exposure. The delicate skin around the eyes is also at risk for cancer.
Time spent under the sun without protection can add up and increase the risk of diseases developing. Kids are particularly sensitive to UV rays, so it’s a good idea to protect their eyes when outdoors at daytime.
Tips on protecting your eyes
- UV exposure happens all year long, even in cloudy weather. Be sure to protect your eyes year-round.
- Never look directly into the sun, including during a solar eclipse. This can lead to serious eye damage.
- When buying sunglasses, choose lenses that screen out 75-90% of visible light for optimal comfort in high-glare conditions such as winter or seaside activities, but remember that too-dark lenses aren’t suitable for driving. Also, be aware that inexpensive dark lenses might not cut UV rays. Ask your optician for a recommendation.
- When buying sunglasses or regular eyeglasses, try to choose lenses that cut 100% of UVA and UVB rays and offer improved UV protection such as a high eye sun protection factor (e-SPF).
- To fully protect the eyes of infants and children, use wraparound sunglasses fitted with lenses that protect against UVA and UVB rays.