Yeah, we love the sun! Honestly, we can’t think in a perfect beach —or pool— day without a radiant sun, do you? Even in cold places, who doesn’t love a clear and shining day to spent time outdoors? And yes, surely you use sunscreen to protect your skin, but, have you ever think about the impact that UV rays could have on your sight? The probability of developing eye problems is high, so you should take care of your eyes too and UV protection is essential.
Let me ask you something… How many time of your day do you spend outdoors? In my case, I love cycling and I train between 10-15 hours outdoors in a week; in a month, it could be more than 40 hours; in a year, more than 480 hours and, in a lifetime, this implies many hours of direct exposure to UV light.
This is the thing: It has been demonstrated over the years that extended exposure to UV rays from the sun can put you at risk of serious eye damage. So, why underestimate this fact? In the end, we only count with one pair of EYES in our entire life and through them, we enjoy and see the world around us.
Another important fact: UV radiation is cumulative and start when we are kids; this means each time we’re out in the sun without protection we could be adding damage that adds to our risks to suffer of serious eye diseases in the future.
What are those eye problems?
Now, let me tell you about some eye damage caused by excessive sun exposure without proper protection:
Cataracts. Despite cataracts is an age-related eye condition, the truth is UV rays exposure may cause early formation of this.
Macular degeneration. Some researchers believe that overexposure to sunlight may increases progression of this eye disease that make you lose your central vision. This problem may cause blindness too.
Pinguecula. This is a deposit of protein, fat, or calcium that appears like a yellowish, raised growth on your eye. This is common in people who spend a lot of time in the sun.
Pterygium, also known as “surfer’s eye”. Like pinguecula, is a type of growth on the eye caused by a combination of exposure to UV light from the sun, wind and dust; but this growth is of fleshy tissue and could invade the cornea.
Photokeratitis, better known as “snow blindness”. The sunlight reflected off snow, sand and water can cause a sunburned eye and a temporary loss of vision.
And, of course, eye cancer.
How to avoid these terrible eye problems? The solution is simple: prevention with UV blocking sunglasses.
Eye health is all about prevention. This is the reason why everyone needs to wear UV protection sunglasses while outside.
Do and don’ts about protect your eyes from UV rays
Wear only sunglasses labeled either “UV400” or “100% UV protection”; yes. Did you know that 47 % of sunglass wearers do not check UV ratings before making a purchase? Let’s change that number! When shopping for sunglasses, look for adequate protection. Remember: Against eye problems, sun protection is what your eyes really needs.
The larger, the better; yes. Sunglasses with large lenses will also protect the delicate skin around your eyes.
The darker, the better; no. The color of the lens is not related with more UV protection; instead, it’s related with the style, the look and your level of light sensitivity.
“If the day is cloudy, I don’t have to wear my sunglasses”; no. Even on cloudy days or winter time the UV lights reflection and exposure is eminent.
According to American Academy of Ophthalmology, 83 % agree that you should wear sunglasses when it’s overcast, but only 17 % actually do.
“My contact lenses have UV protection, so I am cover”; no. You still need to wear UV blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
“I have dark eyes, so I have less risk of damage”; no. Eye damage from sun exposure is the same, regardless of your eye color.
“My eyes only need extra protection in the summertime”; no. Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year. However, you need to be extra careful in extreme conditions. Sun’s harmful rays are strongest in the mid-day —from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.—, near the earth’s equator, at higher altitudes and in open spaces with snow, water or sand.
Shop now and protect your eyes from eye problems caused by UV rays:
There are very few times in life where we can control or avoid eye diseases and this is one of those moments.
It’s your responsibility to protect your eyes from the damaging UV rays from the sun through prevention. Plus, sunglasses are so cool and high in technology nowadays that are part of our fashion statement, even on the bike!