Importance of UV Protection in Sunglasses

UV rays can be just as harmful to the eyes as they are to the skin. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection can keep the eyes and the skin around the eyes safe from harmful sunlight. Protective eyeglasses have UVA- and UVB-blocking material. 


The Danger of UV Light Exposure

Eye exposure to ultraviolet radiation is comparable to skin sunburn and can affect anyone. The eyes turn puffy and red and may also feel gritty after exposure to UV rays. Some people experience severe tearing and extreme light sensitivity. 

The symptoms may be temporary, but frequent exposure can have a long-term negative impact. It can increase the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Eye protection is vital for people of all ages. Kids spend hours outdoors during summer, exposing them to UV rays.


Importance of UV Protection


UV protection in sunglasses can help maintain eye health for life. Sunlight is the main source of ultraviolet radiation. Lasers, tanning beds, and welding equipment can also produce UV radiation. 

The radiation can harm the eyes, causing vision and eye diseases. Adding UV coating to a glass or plastic lens can provide protection. It is crucial to know that not all sunglasses offer UV protection. The best sunglasses offer 99 to 100% UVA and UVB protection.


UV Protective vs. Polarized Lenses


There is a difference between UV protection and polarization. Polarized sunglasses can reduce glare and haze but not the required UV protection. When buying sunglasses, make sure the lenses absorb maximum UV. 

The best quality sunglasses provide high levels of protection and are known as UV-400 glasses. The 400 UV rating provides almost 100% protection from harmful UV rays. They block 400-nanometer wavelengths and between 75 to 90% of visible sunlight. The light passes through the earth’s atmosphere as UVA and UVB rays.


Wearing the Right Sunglasses


Wearing the right sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays. You must wear sunglasses even if you have contact lenses. When shopping for sunglasses, remember a darker tint does not mean more protection. 

Darker lenses do not block the rays if they are not UV-specific. Choose large or wraparound frames for optimum protection. They reduce the radiation level that reaches the eyes. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, they can come with UV protection qualities. 


UV Protection for Children

Children need UV protection sunglasses as much as adults as their eyes develop over the years. About 25% of UV damage occurs before an individual turns 20. Children should wear sunglasses and hats when playing outside.

Getting used to sunglasses wear at an early age will benefit them in the future. Most of the UV damage occurs over time. The choices made in childhood and the teen years will help them through their lives.

Children involved in sports, who spend most of their time outdoors, require eye protection. Wear UV protection sunglasses when you are outdoors, even on cloudy days. Talk to your eye doctor about the best quality sunglasses. 

For more on the importance of UV protection in sunglasses, contact VisionCare Optometry at our Elk Grove, California office. Call (916) 512-1600 to schedule an appointment today. 

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