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May is UV Awareness Month

 

Because of efforts to create awareness of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) light to your skin, (which include sunburn and skin cancer), most are familiar with the importance of using sunblock and using other protective measures particularly during the blazing summer months. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other harmful types of radiation from the sun are also a threat to your eyes.

If you are thinking of leaving the house without sunglasses, reconsider. Prolonged exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation has been seen to be a cause of eye damage.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Exposure to large levels of ultraviolet radiation for a short interval can result in a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurry vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term UV exposure can lead to more serious eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, all of which can cause loss of sight. Individuals that come into frequent contact with welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at increased risk of exposure to UV radiation.

UV Eye Protection

To shield your eyes from threatening UV rays, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Stick with shades labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they prevent both UVA and UVB rays (400 refers to the wavelength of light in nanometers).

The size of your sunglasses is also important. Wraparound sunglasses can prevent dangerous ultraviolet light from coming in through the sides and back of the frame.

It's not necessary to pay a lot to have sufficient UV defense, but it's essential to be certain the sunglasses provide complete UV protection. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper defense against the harmful effects of exposure to sunlight. The great news is that as well as keeping your eyes protected from the dangers of UV exposure, stylish sunglasses are in style, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!