Summer is coming and of course we want to be outside taking advantage of our beautiful West Coast weather, but with that sun comes UV Rays which can damage your eyes.
There are three types of UV Light that affect us in different ways, here they are:
UVC - most UVC Light is absorbed by our ozone so it doesn't typically reach us, but is the most damaging to our skin
UVB - even though it isn't as strong as UVC, UVB light affects the outer layer of our skin the most causing sunburn and possibly skin cancer. UVB light can cause light sensitivity, tearing and irritation
UVA - though not as strong as UVB, UVA Light makes up approximately 95% of UV that reaches the earth and causes tanning and aging of the skin. It affects the skin the most and can affect the inner layers of our skin and eyes.
There are several eye conditions which are related to UV exposure, but they can also be avoided by taking care of your eyes as you do your skin!
* Not all sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays. If you're unsure about the level of UV protection your sunglasses provide, take them to your optometrist or optician for an evaluation. Many eye care professionals have instruments that can measure the amount of UV radiation your lenses block.
* Remember to wear sunglasses even when you're in the shade. Although shade reduces your UV exposure to some degree, your eyes still will be exposed to UV rays reflected from buildings, roadways and other surfaces.
* Sunglasses also are important in winter, because fresh snow can reflect 80 percent of UV rays, nearly doubling your overall exposure to solar UV radiation. If you ski or snowboard, choosing the right lenses is essential for adequate UV protection on the slopes.
* Even if your contact lenses block UV rays, you still need sunglasses. UV-blocking contacts shield only the part of your eye under the lens. UV rays still can damage your eyelids and other tissues not covered by the lens. Wearing sunglasses protects these delicate tissues and the skin around your eyes from UV damage.
* If you have dark skin and eyes, you still need to wear sunglasses. Although dark skin color may give you a lower risk of skin cancer from UV radiation, your risk of eye damage from UV rays is the same as that of someone with fair skin.