After spending time outdoors, have you ever experienced a burning sensation or excessive tearing in your eyes? This could be due to UV radiation. According to the Australian Skin Cancer Foundation, your eyes are ten times more sensitive to UV radiation than your skin. If you frequently expose your eyes to UV radiation, it can lead to various eye problems and premature aging around the eyes. Even just a few hours of outdoor activity without proper eye protection can cause damage to the cornea from UVB radiation.
When the cornea is damaged, it can cause immediate pain, blurry vision, tearing, and redness. Although these symptoms typically resolve with rest, secondary infections can occur, so it’s important to be cautious. UVA radiation is weaker than UVB, but it can penetrate up to 100 times deeper, making it even more serious. It can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and even blindness by damaging the lens behind the cornea.
Therefore, sunglasses are essential for eye health. When choosing sunglasses, make sure they have UV protection. Look for sunglasses with a “UV400” certification, which means they block over 99% of UV radiation with wavelengths of 400 nanometers or less. Since both UVA and UVB radiation fall below this wavelength, this certification ensures adequate protection.
Avoid sunglasses with very dark lenses because they can dilate your pupils, allowing more UV radiation to enter. If you’ve had the same pair of sunglasses for over two years or have exposed them to harsh environmental conditions, their UV protection may have diminished, so it’s best to replace them.
Protecting your eyes should be a top priority. If you don’t have sunglasses, wear a hat or visor to prevent direct UV radiation exposure to your eyes. Remember, sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory, but a necessary investment in your health.