The sun emits energy (radiation) in a variety of forms. One form is the sunlight we see. Another form is the heat we feel from the sun. A third form, ultraviolet (UV) rays, are also invisible to the naked eye. Sunburn is caused by these UV rays. They can also harm your eyes and impair your vision. Summer sun eye protection is important, but you should protect your eyes year round even on cloudy days!
UV Rays and Your Eyes
Types of UV Rays
UV rays are classified into two types: UV-A and UV-B. UV rays can contribute to a variety of eye problems over time.
UVA Rays can harm your eyes. They have the potential to harm the macula, a portion of the retina at the back of your eye.
The cornea and lens of your eye absorb the majority of UV-B rays, but these rays may cause more damage to your eyes than UV-A rays.
Summer Sun and Protecting Your Eyes From UV Rays
You can shield your eyes from UV rays in two ways:
- Understand the dangers of UV rays.
- Wear proper eye protection and UV-blocking hats.
UV rays can come from a variety of sources. They are emitted by the sun directly, but they are also reflected by the ground, water, snow, sand, and other bright surfaces.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim.
- Wear UV-absorbing eyewear and a wide-brimmed hat or cap.
- A wide-brimmed hat or cap will block approximately half of the UV rays. A wide-brimmed hat or cap can also help to reduce UV rays that enter the eyes from above or around glasses.
UV-absorbing eyewear provides the most protection. UV-A and UV-B rays should be absorbed by all types of eyewear, including prescription and non-prescription glasses, contact lenses, and lens implants. UV-blocking lens materials, coatings, and photochromic lenses are all options for UV protection in everyday eyewear. UV protection is inexpensive and does not interfere with seeing clearly.