The Sun and Your Eyes
You know that the sun can be hard on your skin. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation contained in sunlight can irritate the skin tissue, leading to sunburn, and cause long-term damage that increases the risk of wrinkles and some types of skin cancer. That same radiation can also take a toll on your eyes.
After a day in the sun, your eyes can suffer from a short-term problem called photokeratitis, a sort of sunburn that can cause discomfort and sensitivity to light. Repeated UV exposure also contributes to the development of certain types of cataracts and possibly macular degeneration, two conditions that can negatively affect your vision.
Protecting Your Eyes
Because the sun can have both negative short and long-term effects on your eyes, experts recommend that you take steps to protect yourself whenever you go outdoors on a sunny day. To make sure that you're effectively shielding your eyes from the sun, you'll need to choose sunglasses that are UV protective. These sunglasses have special coatings on their lenses that block UV from reaching your eyes.
Doctors usually recommend lenses that have 99 to 100 percent UV protection and that block both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. The product descriptions will tell you how much UV protection each pair of sunglasses provides.
Finding the Right Style
When you're shopping for sunglasses with UV protection, you'll want to take their features into consideration to ensure that you select the perfect pair. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, you may want to purchase UV-protective lenses that clip or snap onto your glasses, so that you can wear your everyday glasses along with your sun protection.
If you'll be playing sports or exercising, a pair of sunglasses with shatterproof or breakage-resistant lenses can help you avoid injury if you're bumped or suffer an accident. For kids and babies, UV protective sunglasses often feature elastic bands to hold them securely in place. The appearance of the sunglasses is also important, as you want to make sure that you look great in your eye protection. back to top »