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Home » What's New » This May is UV Awareness Month

This May is UV Awareness Month

 

As a result of ongoing efforts to increase knowledge of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (which include sunburn and skin cancer), most are aware of the necessity of using UV blocking sunscreen and using other forms of sun protection particularly during the blazing summer months. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other harmful types of radiation from the sun are also a risk to your eyes.

If you are considering going outside without proper eye protection, think about this: Prolonged exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays has been shown to cause damage to the eye.

UV Risks to Vision

Exposure to large levels of UV for a short interval is known to result in photokeratitis or a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary vision loss. Long-term UV exposure can lead to more threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can be a threat to vision. Individuals that come into frequent contact with welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at heightened risk of exposure to UV radiation.

Selecting UV Protective Sunglasses

To shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, sunglasses should block 100 percent of UV light. Look for shades that specify they are ''UV 400'', which means that they prevent all UV light from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Wraparound sunglasses can prevent dangerous ultraviolet rays from coming in through the rear of the sunglasses.

It's not necessary to pay a lot to have sufficient UV defense, but you should not make a purchase until you are certain the sunglasses provide complete UV coverage. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV coverage. Further, in addition to defending your eyes from the sun's harmful rays, stylish shades are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!

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