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Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

Virtually everyone is exposed to UV rays on a daily basis. Even though this is the case, the potential dangers related to years of exposure to these unsafe rays are not often thought about, and most people take little action to guard their eyes, even when they're planning on being outside for long periods of time. UV overexposure is unsafe and cannot be reversed, and can also cause a number of severe, sight-stealing diseases down the road. This means that ongoing protection from UV rays is equally important for everybody.

UV radiation, which originates mostly from the sun, is made up of 2 categories of damaging rays: UV-A and UV-B. Even though only small amounts of UVA and UVB light enter the inner eye, the ocular tissue is very susceptible to the damaging effects of their rays. Even in the short term, small amounts of exposure can cause sunburn of the eye, or photokeratitis. When UVB rays enter the cornea, the cells that make up its exterior are significantly damaged, which can lead to pain, blurred vision or in serious cases, temporary blindness. UVA rays actually penetrate much deeper into the eye, which causes damage to the retina.

A really great way to guard your eyes from UV rays is by wearing high quality sunglasses. Be sure that your sunglasses or prescription glasses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Wearing an inadequate pair of sunglasses can sometimes be more harmful than using no sunglasses at all. Basically, when your sunglasses don't offer any protection against UV, you're actually getting more UV rays. Such sunglasses tend to reduce the light, forcing the iris to open and let more light in. And this means that more UV will hit your retina. Always be sure that your sunglasses offer enough protection against UV.
Wearing a large hat or cap can also protect you from roughly fifty percent of UV rays. A brimmed hat or cap can also limit UV rays that reach the eyes from above or around glasses.

Make an appointment to speak with your eye care professional about the various UV protection choices, which include adaptive lenses, polarized lenses and fixed tint sunglasses.

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