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UV Rays and Sunglasses: How to Protect Your Eyes


Mar. 04, 2022

You probably know that too much exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to sunburn and skin cancer. But did you know that UV rays can also damage your eyes? Prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can lead to serious eye problems.

To protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation, you should wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays whenever you are outdoors during the day. Even on cloudy days, your eyes need protection because the sun's damaging UV rays can penetrate the clouds. 

UV Rays and Sunglasses: How to Protect Your Eyes

What are ultraviolet rays?

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are much more energetic and are not part of the visible light range. In the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves have the lowest energy and gamma rays have the highest energy.

Overexposure to UVB radiation from the sun has also been associated with many eye problems, including pineal flies, pterygium and snow blindness.

UVA rays are closer to visible light and have a lower energy than UVB and UVC rays. However, UVA rays can cross the cornea and reach the lens and retina in the eye.

Overexposure to UVA radiation has been associated with the development of some types of cataracts, and studies suggest that UVA rays may play a role in the development of macular degeneration.

UV Rays and Sunglasses: How to Protect Your Eyes


To best protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays, always wear quality sunglasses when outdoors.

Look for sunglasses that block 100% of all UV rays, and JINGWEI's dispensers can help you choose the best sunglass lenses for your needs.

Depending on your outdoor lifestyle, you may also want to explore performance sunglasses or sports sunglasses.

In addition to sunglasses, wearing a wide-brimmed hat on a sunny day can reduce your eyes' exposure to UV rays by up to 50%.

Some experts say that because children tend to spend much more time outdoors than most adults, by age 18, a person will have been exposed to UV radiation for as much as half of his or her lifetime. Children are more susceptible to UV damage to their eyes.

Make sure your children protect their eyes from the sun with quality sunglasses or varicolored lenses when they go outside. Also, encourage your child to wear a hat on sunny days to further reduce UV exposure.

UV Rays and Sunglasses: How to Protect Your Eyes


There are many misconceptions about sun protection for the eyes. Please keep the following tips in mind.

Not all sunglasses block 100% of UV rays. If you are unsure of the level of UV protection provided by your sunglasses, take them to your eye doctor or prescription optician for an evaluation. Many eye care professionals have instruments that can measure the amount of UV radiation blocked by the lenses.

Sunglasses are also important in the winter because fresh snow can reflect 80% of UV rays, almost doubling your total exposure to the sun's UV radiation. If you ski or snowboard, choosing the right lenses is critical to providing adequate UV protection on the slopes.

Even if your contact lenses block UV rays, you still need sunglasses. UV blocking contacts only shield the part of the eye below the lens. UV rays can still damage your eyelids and other tissues not covered by the lenses.

UV Rays and Sunglasses: How to Protect Your Eyes

Before purchasing sunglasses, schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you. Or contact one of our physicians who provide you with expert custom eyewear. Enjoy a sunny day and make sure you have the right sunglasses to protect your eyes. Send us a message to find more.



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