By now, most Americans are aware of the threats of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation to your skin, (including sunburn and skin cancer) and the necessity of using sunblock and using other forms of sun protection when spending time in the sun. What is less known is that UV and other harmful types of radiation from the sun can also cause severe damage to your eyes.
If you are thinking of going outside without sunglasses, reconsider. Frequent absorption of the sun's ultraviolet rays has been shown to cause damage to the eye.
UV Eye Damage
Excessive UV exposure over a short amount of time is known to lead to a ''sunburn on the eye'', leading to pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. Long-term ultraviolet exposure can lead to more threatening eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause loss of sight. Just like the real thing, tanning beds present a substantial risk of overexposure to UV.
UV Eye Protection
For sufficient UV protection, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Look for shades labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they prevent all UV light (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).
You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can prevent dangerous UV light from entering from the rear of the sunglasses.
You don't have to empty your pockets to have proper UV defense, but you should not make a purchase unless you are certain the sunglasses give full UV defense. Many less-exclusive brands do offer proper UV defense. The great news is that in addition to keeping your eyes safe from the harmful sunlight, stylish sunglasses are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!