This Month is Ultraviolet Awareness Month

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By now, most Americans are aware of the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) exposure to your skin, (such as sunburn and skin cancer) and the importance of applying sunblock and using other protective measures particularly during the blazing summer months. But how many are aware that UV and other harmful types of radiation from the sun also pose a threat to your eyes?

If you are considering going outside without proper eye protection, reconsider. Prolonged exposure to harmful ultraviolet light has been shown to cause damage to the eye.

UV Eye Damage

Intense UV exposure over a short amount of time is known to result in photokeratitis or a ”sunburn on 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.

How to Choose Protective Sunglasses

To guard your eyes from harmful UV rays, you should be careful to look for sunglasses that completely block all UV rays. Stick with shades that specify they are ”UV 400”, which indicates that they block both UVA and UVB rays (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block harmful UV light from coming in through the sides and back of the frame.

It’s not necessary to pay a lot to have proper UV protection, but it’s essential to be sure the sunglasses offer full solar coverage. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV defense. The great news is that as well as keeping your eyes safe from the sun’s harmful rays, stylish sunglasses are at the height of fashion, so go buy yourself a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!

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