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Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

It's a fact: almost everybody is regularly exposed to UV rays. But the risks of long-term exposure to these harsh rays are not often thought through, to a point where most people barely take enough action to shield their eyes, even when they're expecting on being exposed to the sun for many hours. Being exposed to too much UV is unsafe and cannot be reversed, and can also cause more than a few severe, vision-stealing conditions down the road. Therefore, ongoing protection from these rays is a must for everyone.

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B, and both are damaging. Despite the fact that only minimal measures of UVA and UVB light reach the inner eye, the eye tissue is incredibly receptive to the damaging effects of their rays. Even in the short term, small amounts of exposure can easily result in sunburnt eyes, also known as photokeratitis. When the cornea receives UVB rays, the cells that make up its exterior are destroyed, which can lead to pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. UVA rays can actually permeate the eye much deeper, causing harm to the retina. Over time, UV rays can be responsible for significant and lasting damage to eye sight.

An ideal way to shield your eyes from UV rays is by wearing high quality eyewear. Ensure that your sunglasses or regular glasses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. An inadequate pair of sunglasses can sometimes be more harmful than having no sunglasses at all. Consider this: when sunglasses offer no protection against UV, you're actually getting more UV rays. Sunglasses that are inadequate generally block some of the light, which causes the iris to open and let even more light in. And this means that more UV will reach the retina. It's important to check that your sunglasses provide enough protection against UV.

Talk to your eye care professional about all of your UV protection choices, including, but not limited to, adaptive lenses, polarized lenses and fixed tint sunglasses.

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