15% of adults do not believe that protecting your eyes from UV rays is as important as protecting your skin, but that’s not true. Excessive exposure to UV rays can cause an array of vision problems both long and short term, which is why wearing sunglasses and RX sunglasses is vital for healthy vision care.
The first pair of regular sunglasses was sold in 1929 and the first pair of polarized sunglasses was sold in 1936. In 2012, over 94+ million non-prescription sunglasses were sold in the United States alone. While the sunglass retail industry is thriving, 40.5% of adults confirmed that they do NOT look at health and/or safety information when purchasing sunglasses. In this same survey, 47.6% of adults admitted that they do not protect their eyes simply because they forget to wear sunglasses altogether.
There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Of these three forms of UV rays, only UVA and UVB rays can pass through the atmosphere and onto the surface of the planet. UVA radiation accounts for 95% of all UV radiation.
While UVB rays are much more intense, UVA rays are more prevalent and produce more long-term, severe damage to skin cells. UVB is seen at higher altitudes, on rainy days, and are HIGHLY reflective of snow and ice. Many believe that reflective UV is not as damaging as direct UV rays, but that is not always the case.
Water reflects up to 100% of UV rays
Snow reflects up to 85% of UV rays
Dry sand reflects up to 25% of UV rays
Grass reflects up to 3% of UV rays
Sometimes and areas are more dangerous, but that does not mean that if you are outside of this time frame and/or geographical area that you are protected from UV rays. The most dangerous U.S. areas for UV levels are the southern states: California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and even more so Hawaii and Puerto Rico. UV levels are twice as strong between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. as that of the hours just before and immediately after that time frame. Even if it is rainy or cloudy, it is important to always protect your eyes regardless of the weather.
UV rays affect everyone differently. Children have immature eye lens, which makes them susceptible to UV-related eye damage. You should teach your children the importance of protecting their eyes, by using sunglasses. UV damage is one of few damages that is irreversible and cumulative; adults can see and feel the effect of UV damage over time when unprotected.
UV rays work by entering the eye by penetrating through the cornea (the transparent layer forming the front of the eye). The light passes through the cornea to the pupil (the dark circular opening in the center of the iris of the eye that can vary in size depending on the amount of light reaching the retina) and moves to the iris (eye color) where light intensity can be controlled. Unfiltered light can cause damage to the retina (a layer in the back of an eye that sends impulses to the brain to form an image).
If you are already suffering from the consequences of UV damage, or you would like to start protecting your eyes from UV exposure, shop our sunglasses and discount RX sunglasses online.