The Sun and Your Eyes

The Sun and Your Eyes

The sun makes all life on Earth possible. But, the sun’s life-giving rays also pose a dangerous threat to our health. The sun’s primary danger is in the form of harmful Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is a component of solar radiation. UV rays can also be given off by artificial sources such as tanning beds, welding machines, and lasers. Many people are aware of the harm that UV radiation can cause to the skin, but many do not realize that exposure to UV rays or other components of solar radiation can cause severe harm to the eyes and can affect vision, causing the need for corrective eye surgery or corrective eyewear.

There are three types of UV radiation: UV-C, UV-A, and UV-B. UV-C radiation is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer and does not pose a threat to our eyes. UV-A and UV-B radiation can cause adverse long and short-term effects to our eyes and subsequently, our vision. If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation, you are likely to experience something called ‘Photokeratitis’.

Photokeratitis is essentially “a sunburn of the eyes”. Photokeratitis is usually painful and can cause symptoms such as redness of the eyes, a feeling like there is something foreign in your eyes or a gritty sensation, extreme sensitivity to light, and excessive watering of the eyes. Fortunately, photokeratitis is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage to the eyes. Although there is no corrective eyewear for Photokeratitis, you can ease symptoms by purchasing inexpensive, dark, UV protective sunglasses online through a discount eyewear store.

On the contrary, long-term exposure to UV radiation can cause serious and more permanent damage to the eyes. Studies have shown that short-term exposure to UV radiations spanning over many years, increases the chances of developing cataracts and can cause permanent damage to the retina. Additionally, a chronic exposure to shorter wavelength visible light can also cause damage to the retina.

The longer the eyes are exposed to UV radiation, the more the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration later in life increase. Scientists have yet to determine exactly how much exposure to solar radiation causes damage, it is recommended that you wear quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and wear a hat with a wide brim whenever you spend time outside.

If you suffer from a pre-existing eye condition, Eyeglass Factory Outlet offers prescription sunglasses at affordable prices. To provide adequate protection for your eyes, your prescription sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of harmful UV radiation and screen out 75-90 percent of visible light. Don’t forget protection for children and teens, since they typically spend more time in the sun than adults. Eyeglass Factory Outlet has a large section of prescription sunglasses just for kids and offers stylish frames for everyone’s tastes. 

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