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Home arrow Sunglasses: A Year Round Necessity!
Sunglasses: A Year Round Necessity! PDF Print E-mail

As the stratospheric ozone layer is depleting, UV radiation is increasing-and right along with it the risk of eye damage. During the summer, UV radiation is three times as strong as it is during the winter, but nevertheless, its damaging effects are present year round, making it more important than ever to protect your eyes during every season.

There are two different types of UV rays: UV-A rays, which damage part of the retina at the back of your eye called the macula, and UV-B rays, which damage the cornea and lens. Over-exposure to damaging UV rays can cause a number of diseases, including:

Snow blindness (photokeratitis)-reflections off water, pavement or snow and exposure to artificial light sources, like tanning beds, can cause a burn to the cornea. Although the effect is temporary, itis painful. Eyes will appear red, be sensitive to light and be teary.

Cataracts-clouding of the eye's lens that can cause blurred vision. More than 22 million Americans age 40 and older suffer with cataracts.

Macular degeneration-deterioration of the central area of the retina, the macula. This incurable disease results in blurred, distorted vision and blind spots. More than 10 million Americans are affected.

Pterygium-growth in the corner of the eye that is usually non-cancerous, it can block vision and grow over the cornea. Surgery is often required.

Skin cancer around the eyelid
- most common on the lower lid but can occur anywhere around the eye. The most common type is basal cell carcinoma.

The effects of UV rays aren't always seen right away, so it is important to protect yourself now. Here are the best ways to protect your eyes against UV radiation:

Wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV rays whenever you go outside, whether it's cloudy or sunny.

When it comes to UV protection, bigger is better. Bigger lenses shield more of your eyes and wrap-around frames block rays entering from the sides.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat to block UV rays from the top and sides.

Contact lens wearers can get lenses that filter out a lot of the UV rays, but they are not a replacement for sunglasses.

If you wear prescription glasses, photochromatic lenses are another option-they darken when exposed to UV light.

Prescription sunglasses are another option for those who want to protect their eyes while maintaining proper vision correction.

For protection and prevention of these diseases, it is important to schedule a routine eye examination with your eye care provider. Remember to slip on those shades when you head outdoors no matter what season it is!*

* This vision wellness article was provided by EyeMed Vision Care.




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