Some Tips to Keep in Mind
The ultraviolet rays, which can be simply interpreted as the harmful high-energy rays from the sun are in no ways beneficial for your eyes and eyesight. In fact, a prolonged exposure to the sun can cause you eye irritation, blurry vision and inflict hazardous eye condition like the following in the long run:
- Pterygium characterised by an abnormal growth of tissue on the white part of the eye that can extend to the cornea.
- Corneal degenerations
- Eye Cancers
- Macular Degeneration.
However, protection from the UV rays of the sun is not that difficult. The only important point is, you should understand that your eyes are invaluable and take up daily protection measures like sunglasses, UV blocking contact lenses, brimmed hats etc.
Who Is At Risk?
Well, if you are someone who has to spend long hours in the sun because of your profession or other reason, it can be you too! Sports persons who participate in activities involving highly reflective surfaces, that is people doing skiing, sailing, fishing etc are exposed to more UV radiation than normal people.
Also you should remember that your eyes are at most risk to be effected by UV rays in the mid-day hours, from 10 am to 3 p.m. The sunrays are more powerful near the regions on and around the equator. So, residents of these places need to be more careful with their protective gears. At higher altitudes, UV radiations are typically high.
The ocular damage resulting from UV radiation is more common in children as they spend a lot of time playing in the sun. Also, at their tender age, their ocular structures are more sensitive to the harmful rays that permeate into the eyes.
How to Protect Your Eyes
The UV rays are so powerful that the effect can be cumulative, though not evident immediately. Over time, mild exposures daily can even add up to serious vision problems later in life.
As the UV rays can affect the eyes not only from the sun overhead but also from reflective grounds like water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces, you should never ignore to put on your wide-brimmed hat and shades as you plan to step outside. The wrap-around sunglasses are the best for the purpose as they also block the UV rays that can reach the eyes peripherally.
If possible, ensure that all your eye-wears, prescription and non-prescription, filter the UV spectrum. All sunglasses do not have the UV filtering capacity. So, when you are splurging into one, do not consider the design and style only; choose the ones that can 99%-100% UV. “UV blocking up to 400nm" indicates complete UV protection. While buying your shades, if you do not find any such information along with the pair, ask about the UV blocking capacity of the sunglasses from the staffs at the optical store. Remember, photochromatic lenses do not have the ability of 100% UV protection. So, even if your prescription glasses are photochromatic, that does not mean that you should not use your sunglasses. Buy specific sunglasses for the specific purposes they are meant to serve. Your beach-wear shades are meant to be different from your skiing goggles.
Guide to Buying Sunglasses
- Ascertain details of UV protection from the label or the staffs
- If a lens is dark coloured, that does not necessarily mean that the sunglasses are going to provide a better protection. There are other factors that determine so.
- Don’t get misled with the price tag. The most expensive one may not be the best one.