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Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

Everyone is regularly exposed to UV rays. However, the possible risks of many years of exposure to these harmful rays are not often thought about, to a point where many barely take enough action to shield their eyes, even when they're planning on being outside for many hours. Overexposure to UV is dangerous and irreversible, and may cause several severe, vision-stealing conditions down the road. Therefore, ongoing protection from these rays is equally important for everybody.

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B, and both are harmful. Despite the fact that only minimal amounts of UVA and UVB light enter the inner eye, the ocular tissue is very receptive to the harmful effects of their rays. Intense, short-term of exposure may lead to sunburn of the eye, often referred to as photokeratitis. When UVB rays are absorbed by the cornea, the cells that make up its exterior are significantly damaged, which can be expressed as pain, blurred vision or in serious cases, temporary blindness. UVA rays can penetrate much deeper into the eye, causing harm to the retina. Over a number of years, being exposed to UV rays can cause significant and lasting damage to the eyes.

A really great way to protect your eyes from UV rays is through the use of good sunglasses. Ensure that your sunglasses or regular glasses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. An inadequate pair of sunglasses can sometimes be more harmful than wearing no sun protection at all. Basically, if sunglasses offer no protection against UV, it means you're actually increasing your exposure to UV rays. Sunglasses that are inadequate generally reduce the light, causing the iris to open and let even more light in. And this means that even more UV will be hitting your retina. Always check to make sure your sunglasses offer enough protection against UV.

Talk to your eye care professional about all of your UV protection options, which include adaptive lenses, polarized lenses and fixed tint sunglasses.