Ultraviolet Awareness Month is just a month away. So we thought why not we start sharing all the relevant information about UV rays with you. Let’s begin!

Exposure to UV rays can burn delicate issues of our eyes and increase the chance of developing cataracts and other eye disorders (even eye cancer). One of the most effective of preventing human eyes from harmful UV rays is obviously sunglasses.

What are Ultraviolet Rays?

The sun discharges energy (radiation) in many forms. The sunlight we understand is one form. The warmth we feel from sunlight is another. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, another type, will also be invisible to the eye. UV rays are a major cause of sunburns. They can also harm your eyes and damage your eyesight.

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B. Over time, the effects of UV rays may help cause a number of eye problems.

  • UV-A: They can harshly damage your vision. It’s capable of damaging the macula, a region of the retina in the back of the eye.

  • UV-B: The front part of your eye (i.e. the lens and the cornea) absorbs most UV-B rays.

Note: UV-B rays may cause much more damage to your eyes than UV-A rays.

What Eye Disorders Can UV Rays Cause?

  • Corneal Sunburn

Corneal sunburn, known as photokeratitis, is that the consequence of elevated short-term vulnerability to UV-B rays. Long hours on the beach or ski without appropriate eye protection can cause this issue. It can be very painful and can cause temporary vision loss.

  • Macular Degeneration

UV rays may lead to macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss for elderly Americans.

  • Cataract

UV rays, notably UV-B rays, can also cause some types of cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, the part of the eye which focuses the light we see.

  • Skin Cancer

Skin cancer around the eyelids is also linked to prolonged UV exposure.

  • Pterygium

Although very less people are aware of this eye disorder, but its common for people who work on field under the sun. It’s a UV-related disorder, which is an expansion called pterygium. This expansion starts on the white part of the eye and may even reach to cornea. At some point, this expansion may block vision. It’s more prevalent in people working out in sunlight and wind.

How to Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays?

You can protect your eyes from UV rays in two crucial ways:

  • Understand the Risks of UV rays. (As listed above)

  • Wear proper eye protection and hats that block UV rays.

UV rays can come from several directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they’re also reflected after hitting the ground, from water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.

Note: Make sure you carry Sunglasses and a Brimmed Hat whenever you leave home on a sunny day.

  • Use eyewear that absorbs UV rays and wears a brimmed hat or cap.
  • A wide-brimmed hat or cap may probably obstruct about half UV rays. A brimmed hat or cap can also restrict UV rays that struck on your eyes from above or round glasses.
  • Eyewear that absorbs UV rays gives you the most protection. All kinds of eyewear, including prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and lens implants, should consume UV-A and UV-B rays. For UV protection from everyday eyewear, there are many choices like UV-blocking lens cloths, coatings, and photochromic lenses. UV protection doesn’t cost a lot of money and doesn’t get in the means of seeing clearly.
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