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Home » News and Events » May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month

May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month

 

Because of efforts to inform the public of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (particularly sunburn and skin cancer), most are aware of the need for applying sunblock and avoiding direct contact with the sun during outdoor activities. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation from the sun can also cause severe damage to your eyes.

If you are thinking of leaving the house without proper eye protection, think about this: Continual contact with the sun's ultraviolet radiation has been linked to eye damage.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Excessive short term exposure to UV can result in photokeratitis meaning a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary blindness. In the long run, UV exposure can result in more threatening eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can be a threat to vision. Just like the real thing, tanning beds present a serious threat of overexposure to UV.

UV Eye Protection

To shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, you should select sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet light. Look for sunglasses that specify they are ''UV 400'', which indicates that they block all UV light from entering your eyes (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

The size of your sunglasses is also important. Wraparound sunglasses can block dangerous UV light from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.

You don't have to empty your pockets to have enough UV coverage, but it's essential to be certain the sunglasses offer complete UV protection. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV coverage. Further, in addition to protecting your eyes from the sun's harmful rays, trendy sunglasses are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!