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Importance of Protecting Your Vision from UV Rays

July 13, 2023

There’s nothing better than a bright, sunny day. But did you know that the invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays projected by the sun can take a toll on your eyes? As a kid, you were probably told to wear sunglasses more times than you can count, but why are UV rays so bad for our vision and what else can you do to keep them healthy? July is National UV Safety Month.  Read the tips below to learn more about UV Rays and how you can avoid damage to your vision.

How Do UV Rays Impact Eye Health?

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation. The human eye cannot see UV light because it has a very short wavelength. A small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is visible to the human eye, but UV light is not.
While you might think of UV light as a singular type of light, there are three types based on wavelength.

UVA Rays

UVA rays have a wavelength of 315 to 400 nanometers. These rays are a type of low-energy radiation that can cause harm to the deepest part of the eye known as the macula. If your eyes aren’t protected from UVA rays, your central vision can be harmed. 

UVB Rays

UVB rays have a wavelength of 280 to 315 nanometers. More powerful than UVA rays, this type of radiation impacts the cornea and lens of the eye, damaging the soft tissue. It is often considered the most dangerous form of UV light.

UVC Rays

UVC rays have a wavelength of 100 to 280 nanometers. This form of radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere, but artificial sources of UVC light can still pose a danger. If you use or work around UV devices — like those used for curing gel nails or disinfecting objects — it’s important to keep your eyes covered.

Ways to Protect Your Vision from UV Rays

Wearing sunglasses is the easiest way to protect your eyes from UV rays, but many of us are in the bad habit of only wearing them if it’s bright and sunny out. 80% of UV rays penetrate through clouds, meaning that your eyes are still being impacted even when it’s overcast or rainy.
To protect your eyes, follow these tips:

  • Always wear sunglasses that have UV protection of 400, which blocks 99.9% of UVA and UVB rays.

  • To further protect your eyes, wear a brimmed hat in addition to sunglasses, especially if you won’t have cover directly over you.

  • Be mindful of environmental factors that reflect UV light – water, sand, sea foam, and snow all reflect UV light, increasing the risk of eye damage if you don’t wear eye protection.

If you don’t want to wear tinted sunglasses when it’s overcast, we offer clear glasses that offer UV protection, so you can keep your eyes safe from UV rays in all weather conditions.
Detecting The Early Signs of Vision Damage

Vision loss is rarely reversible, which is why you should always be proactive when it comes to your eye health. Whether or not you take daily steps to protect your vision, like wearing sunglasses, it’s important to check in with your eye doctor for regular appointments.

If you haven’t had a vision check-up in the last 12 months, call your doctor and get on the schedule so that you can have peace of mind and healthy vision for a long time to come.

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