Choosing Sunglasses- Is UV protection important?

The sun is absolutely necessity for all life on Earth. Every morning the sun rises and spreads happiness amongst elements of nature and human beings. Imagine what will happen without the sun? All forms of life in Earth will disappear only in a few days. But did you know that prolonged human exposure to solar UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on the eyes, along with the skin? The three categories of invisible high-energy UV rays are- UV A causing aging, UV B causes burning and UV C causes cancer.

Light from the sun can bleach the retina’s photosensitive pigments, causing temporary blindness. Damage to your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is cumulative and can cause Pterygium (tissue growth on the whites of the eyes that can diminish vision) and age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of a part of the retina). IN addition, Uv rays are the biggest culprit in the formation of cataracts. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 16 million people worldwide who are blind as the result of cataracts, and as many as 20% of the cases may be due to UV radiation exposure.

The best way to protect your eyes from the sun is by avoiding it! But since that isn’t likely to happen, with a little protection and common sense, you can enjoy the beautiful outdoors to your heart’s content. With this in mind, it’s especially important for kids to protect their eyes from the sun. Children generally spend much more time outdoors than adults. In fact, experts say nearly 70 percent of our lifetime exposure to UV rays may occur by the age of 18, given that many children spend significantly more time outdoors than the average adult.

Therefore, make sure your eyes are protected from the sun with good quality sunglasses. Also try to wear a hat on sunny days to further reduce UV exposure.

What to look for in a pair of sunglasses:

  1. Look for a label that tells you how much UV protection the sunglasses offer. Ideally, your shades should block 99% to 100% of Uv radiation ( up to 400nm).
  2. Close-fitting sunglasses help block light more effectively: look for wraparound shades or large lenses.
  3. Dark colored sunglasses don’t necessarily protect you better. It’s a special coating on the lens that makes them safe, not their darkness.
  4. Gray, green and brown tinted lenses usually give better protection than other colors.
  5. More expensive shades may be more fashionable, but not necessary that they provide you more protection.

Do you wear spectacles? Don’t be worried, for those with spectacles there are many more options like:

  • Powered/prescription Sunglasses. It’s also possible to make them polarized which cuts the glare or a tinted lens.
  • Photochromatic lenses also provide 100% UV protection.
  • Contact lens users can also use any kind of sunglasses over the Contact lenses.

So, protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses/powered sunglasses. Besides making you look pretty slick, a good pair of shades can provide protection from the sun’s harmful effects!