Do you know how hard our eyes work and how important they are? We’re sure you do, and that’s why you need to treat them with extra care. Your eyes can get easily damaged in many ways, and one of the ways is with ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Too much UV radiation can hurt your eyes and have a big impact on your vision.
During this UV Safety Awareness Month, the team at Nationwide Vision in Arizona wants to help you better understand what UV ray exposure is all about, and show you the ropes in regards to UV eye protection. Part of a long and healthy life is taking great care of your eyes, and this is one way we can help.
UV rays are electromagnetic radiation that comes from both the sun and artificial sources. UVA and UVB rays are the types of UV rays that can have an impact on your eyes. We are not telling you to completely avoid UV rays because a healthy amount helps your body produce Vitamin D. The issue is that too much time in the sun without proper protection can cause sunburns and lead to some skin cancers. You should still be out enjoying the sun! We just want you to be prepared when you do.
There are several conditions that can come from or are affected by UV ray exposure:
If your eyes are being hit with too many UV rays for long stretches of time you might develop pterygium over time. Pterygium is a type of tissue growth on the whites of your eyes. It can lead to pain, redness, and general discomfort.
As weird as it might sound, you can sunburn your eyes! This is called photokeratitis and it can occur if your eyes are exposed to the sun for a long time. Photokeratitis can cause pain, redness, watering, tearing, blurred vision, and discomfort in your eyes. Photokeratitis clears up after a while, but what’s scary is that all of the sunburns you get in your eyes add up over time and can cause long-term damage.
While cataracts are a common eye issue that happens naturally, developing cataracts can be sped up by too much time in the sun. We still want you to enjoy the sun, but you should be protecting your eyes when outside so cataracts don’t develop more quickly. Cataracts make your eyes cloudy and worsen your vision, and you don’t want to develop them at a younger age than expected (or at all). Without getting your cataracts removed, you may develop blindness over time, and it can become permanent.
Too much time being exposed to UV rays is connected to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD mostly affects the middle of your retina and it can worsen your vision. This condition usually affects people aged 50 and older. If you protect your eyes now and also later in life, you decrease your chance of getting AMD and developing other eye issues.
While we’re used to the summer months being full of sun, it’s also sunny during other seasons of the year. The sun might not be out as much during the winter, but when it is out, it is still emitting UV rays that can damage your eyes. That’s why we recommend using sunglasses anytime the sun is out, even if it’s cold!
The summer is full of joy, playing outside, and enjoying time in the sun. Since kids are off for summer break they have even more time to play outside. It’s especially important to protect children’s eyes because all of the UV ray exposure adds up over time. Even though it isn’t likely for kids to develop serious eye conditions when they’re young, it’s still a possibility in the future. That’s why protecting their eyes now is very important.
Our team has the info for what makes great sunglasses for UV eye protection:
High-quality sunglass lenses means that they can both block UV rays and improve your vision. You can only find this with prescription lenses. A pair of prescription lenses will be tailored to your exact vision needs and the lenses will protect your eyes from UV rays.
Getting blinded by bright light can be really annoying when you're walking or driving. That's why we suggest getting sunglasses with polarized lenses for your next pair. These lenses are great at reducing glare, especially in sunny and UV-ray-filled environments.
The cost of sunglasses at convenience stores might persuade you to buy some, but we’re here to tell you that it might not be worth it. Even though cheaper sunglasses might be convenient, they most likely won’t properly protect your eyes. To make sure you're fully protected, it's important to find sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB ray protection. Nationwide Vision has sunglasses that will protect your eyes and look good at the same time.
Your sunglasses need to fit you! You don’t want your shades to be too big or too small. If they’re too small, then they might not cover enough of your eyes and face. If they’re too big, then they might easily fall off. Also, if they’re too big, then there is likely space for UV rays to get in. Full coverage is important to prevent eye damage. On top of that, you’ll be much more comfortable because the sun will no longer be in your eyes.
We want to spend time outside this summer just as much as you do. All we ask is that you protect your eyes while you do it. Our team at Nationwide Vision can you help get a pair of sunglasses that you’ll love. There are countless styles of sunglasses that will both protect you and make a fashion statement.
With multiple locations across Arizona, you’re always near a Nationwide Vision office where we can take care of all of your eye care needs. Contact us today to find sunglasses that will provide great UV eye protection. Schedule an appointment at Nationwide Vision today! Take a look through our sunglasses shop to find a pair that meets all of your needs.