When you’re looking for a new pair of sunglasses, style is very important. Are you a fan of Ray Ban? Buy Maui Jim on a whim? Whatever your style, remember that sunglasses, in addition to looking awesome, are designed to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
What are UV Rays?
UV rays are light waves that come from the sun. They occupy the part of the light spectrum between infrared and x-rays.
Why you should buy UVA and UVB sunglasses
UV radiation from the sun is the major cause of sunburn, premature aging, eye damage and skin cancer. Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection can help protect your eyes from these harmful, yet sunny day-making rays. UV rays can come from any direction. While the sun is their source, the power of UV radiation persists when light is reflected off of glass, the sea or snow.
Darker sunglasses decrease the amount of visible light that passes through the lenses compared with, but they don’t necessarily provide better protection from UV rays. For the best protection, have your Eyesite optician make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent UV, regardless of the colour of the lenses.
If you’re out and about a lot this summer, wrap-around frames provide extra protection for your eyes from any direction. Don’t forget to protect children from harmful rays. They are more vulnerable and typically spend more time in the sun than adults. UV damage is cumulative over a person’s lifetime, which means you should protect your child’s eyes as soon as possible.
All Eyesite sunglasses filter out 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Types of UV Rays
A is for Ageing…
UVA rays tan your skin, but also cause premature ageing and can accelerate the development of age related illnesses. They cause damage over a long period and excessive exposure can damage eyesight. We also offer darker tints which offer even greater protection.
…B is for Burning…
These are the nastier one. UVB rays cause sunburn and can quickly damage eye tissue with extensive exposure.
…C is for Cosmic!
Short-wavelength UVC is the most damaging type of UV radiation. Fortunately, it is completely filtered out by the atmosphere and does not reach the earth’s surface, so no worries!
How Does UV Light Affect Your Eyes?
Both long- and short-term exposure to UV rays can harm your eyes. In fact, just 15 minutes in the sun can start to burn your eyes and skin. UV radiation can exacerbate or cause a range of common eye conditions.
UVB rays increase your risk for certain types of cataracts. It is estimated that 10% of all cataract cases are directly attributable to UV exposure.
Macular Degeneration (AMD) is caused by damage to the retina over time and is the leading cause of age-related blindness, affecting 600,000 people in the UK. Extended exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing macular degeneration.
Also known as corneal sunburn or snow blindness, photokeratitis is the result of high short-term exposure to UVB rays. Photokeratitis is caused by long hours on the beach or skiing (hence the nickname) without proper eye protection. It can be very painful and can even cause temporary loss of vision.
Don’t forget, your eye lids are covered in skin. This means they can contract skin cancer due to prolonged UV exposure.