What Is UV Radiation?
For all the wonderful things the sun makes possible, you also need protection from its rays. The principal danger posed by the sun is in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation can also be given off by artificial sources like tanning beds, lasers and welding machines. There are three types of UV radiation: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-A and UV– B radiation penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and their levels are now reported on the daily weather reports in the news. The earth’s ozone layer used to filter out UV-C radiation, but with the thinning of the ozone layer even UV-C is an added threat to our UV exposure.
What You Can’t See Can Hurt You
You are probably aware of the danger posed by UV radiation to your skin, but you may not realize that the exposure to any type of UV radiation can harm your eyes and affect your vision as well. More and more scientific evidence conclusively shows that exposure to UV-A, UV-B and UV-C has adverse long and short term effects on your eyes and your vision. If you are exposed while unprotected to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you are likely to experience photokeratitis that includes symptoms of pain, tearing and extreme light sensitivity. Long term exposure to any of the types of radiation can cause more serious damage including cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal damage. This damage to the retina is usually not reversible.
How Can You Protect Your Eyes?
You can protect your and your family’s eyes by making sure everyone wears quality sunglasses. Quality sunglasses have lenses that block 100% of the UV-A, UV-B and UV-C radiation while providing clear and distortion free vision. They should screen out 70—90% of visible light, be perfectly matched in color (grey, brown or green) and free from imperfections. Then make sure everyone wears them during sun exposure just like you would wear sunscreen for the skin.
Why Can Cheap Sunglasses Harm Your Eyes?
Poor quality sunglasses block some but not all UV light to the eyes. Being unregulated by the FDA, tags on sunglasses can say “100% UV block” but that does not indicate which type of UV is blocked or for how long. For example, cheap sunglasses might have only 100% UV-A blocked but 0% block for UV-B or UV-C. Many of these cheaper sunglasses have a sprayed on UV coating which can be washed off after the first few times you clean your glasses. Meanwhile, the dark tint of the lenses remains causing your pupil to dilate. This allows your eyes to receive even greater doses of UV radiation than if you did not wear sunglasses at all! Poor quality sunglasses do not filter out direct or reflected glare creating a visual pollution that degrades the clarity of your vision. Cheap sunglasses are not made of optically ground glass or plastic but molded plastic that creates visual distortions that can leave you with eyestrain.
What are The Benefits of Quality Sunwear
High quality sunwear offers lightweight lenses with 100% full protection from all types of UV radiation that never wears off. These lenses are perfectly matched, clear and distortion free with no imperfections. Added benefits you can select with your quality sunwear include polarized lenses that remove 99.9% of all direct and reflected glare from all angles eliminating the visual pollution that enhances the clarity of your vision. If you are not sure which lens is right for you, let one of our trained certified opticians help.
Don’t Forget the Kids!
While you are consciously covering your children with 45 SPF sun lotion, don’t forget to protect their eyes from the same harmful UV radiation with our new children’s sunglasses. Children typically spend more time outdoors than adults.