UV eye protection

Life on Earth

According to Calspace, since the Sun powers all life processes on Earth, the long history of Life on Earth is only possible because the Sun has sufficient energy resources to burn for thousands of millions of years. The energy provided by the Sun has to come in the right amount, shape and form to be useful to Life on Earth. Life cannot use X-rays or radio waves as an energy source. Visible light is just right. The plants use it to make plant matter by photosynthesis, we and many other organisms use it to see by. But humans need UV eye protection!

The Sun sends light and heat rays (called infrared, IR) and some ultraviolet light (UV). The UV is dangerous to living organisms; it damages eyes, human skin and tree leaves, among other things. Fortunately only a few percent of the energy arrives as UV, the rest is half visible light, half (invisible) IR. In addition, the atmosphere takes out most of the UV before it reaches the ground. The ozone layer in the lower stratosphere (just above the highest clouds) is especially important in protecting living things from UV exposure.

Our sun emits 3 types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. UVB radiation is only partially blocked and can burn the skin and eyes. UVA rays are not filtered at all. UVA cause the most damage to vision health, according to the World Health Organization.

 

Why do humans need UV Eye Protection?

The Vision Council’s most recent VisionWatch survey reveals American adults experience symptoms – like irritation in the eye (15.5 percent), trouble seeing (13.5 percent), wrinkles around the eye (8.3 percent), red or swollen eyes (5.9 percent), sunburn on the eyelids (3.7 percent), sunburn of the eye (2.5 percent) and cancer on or around the eye (.6 percent) – from prolonged UV exposure. Additionally, the most common time American adults report spending time outdoors is 2-4 p.m. (39.8 percent), and the number one thing that concerns them most about UV eye exposure is vision loss (28.2 percent). However, 27 percent report they don’t typically wear sunglasses when they are outside.

Additional findings show:

  • American adults are most likely to wear sunglasses while:

    • Driving a vehicle (68.6 percent)
    • Casually relaxing or spending time outdoors (55.2 percent)
    • Near a body of water (49.1 percent)
    • Watching a sporting event (33.7 percent)
    • Playing a sport or exercising outdoors (29.5 percent)
  • The top five reasons American adults say motivates them to purchase a new pair of Plano sunglasses are:

    • Comfort of fit (23.2 percent)

    • Discounted/reduced price (22 percent)

    • UV or UV-protective coating (21.5 percent)

    • Fashion trends (16 percent)

    • Trouble seeing outdoors (13.2 percent)

Important Steps to Maintaining Eye Health

The Vision Council encourages everyone to wear sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors during daylight hours, and to have an annual eye exam with an eyecare provider. Only 27 percent of American adults report they have an annual eye exam and talk to their eyecare provider about UV eye protection, and 29.7 percent report their child(ren) has an annual eye exam and talk to their eyecare provider about their UV eye protection. However, eyecare providers can make recommendations regarding sunglasses tailored to an individual’s unique vision and lifestyle needs. Additionally, sunglasses are also considered a style accessory that can elevate any look! Individuals should start a collection to coincide with their varying activities and ever-changing wardrobes.


For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page

Sources: earthguide.ucsd.edu/ and thevisioncouncil.org

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

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