Protecting your eyes is incredibly important if you want to clear vision for your entire life. Many people don’t realize that they could be damaging their vision every time they walk outside their door. Harmful UV rays become more prominent in the spring and summer months. Those UV rays bring strong lightwaves that damage the delicate cells of your eyes on contact. Here are a few reasons why wearing your sunglasses is so important not only in the summer, but all year long as well!
Ultraviolet rays are not purple rays that you can see with your eyes. UV rays (as they are commonly referred to as) are light rays that are on the visible light spectrum. That is the spectrum of lights that can be seen with the naked eye. However, it doesn’t mean those light rays are actually visible. UV light is on the part of the spectrum where there is lots of energy and short wavelengths. That means in one small wave of light hitting you, it’s carrying tons of energy straight at your eye. That light rays help us to interpret the colors that we see, as they all carry different amounts of energy according to their wavelength. It is what will differentiate red from yellow and green from blue.
The only problem with UV lights is that they can’t generally be seen by the naked eye despite being on the visible light spectrum. When you go outside, you are exposed to UV light every single day without always knowing it. These light rays are given off by the sun and they carry so much energy that they can burn both your skin and your eyes. Because UV light is so hard to see, your skin or eyes will slowly become burned without sunscreen and sunglasses protecting you.
The Public Health Agency reports that UV radiation has 3 wavelengths of light: UVA, UVB and UVC. The type of wavelength determines if the atmosphere absorbs it or not. UVC will be absorbed by the atmosphere before it gets to your eyes or your skin. UVA and UVB, however, both make it to the earth’s surface. Studies show that UVA light waves are present year-round, even on the very cloudy winter days. UVB light waves will come and go depending on the season. That means, you always need to be taking measures through sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and your body from harmful UV rays that can lead to cancer, vision loss and chronic eye and skin diseases.
In fact, the most common eye cancer—melanoma—comes from too much eye exposure to the sun’s rays. This can lead to blindness if you don’t start wearing your sunglasses and if you don’t get prompt treatment from an eye doctor.
Did you know that the sun can cause you eye conditions that are irreversible? The National Eye Institute reports that about 20% of cases of cataracts are caused from too much UV exposure. Cataracts is a condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy until the point of blindness. Some changes in lifestyle can help slow down the progression, but surgery is usually needed to remove the cataracts.
The sun can also cause sunburns to happen on your eyes both in the winter and in the summer. In the winter, UV light rays bounce off of snow and ice and are reflected back into your eyes. In the summer, light bounces off of sand, water and light surfaces. Instead of simply being bright, that amount of light being reflected (about 85% of the sun’s rays) can sunburn your eyes. This can happen throughout a short while of being outside or it can happen immediately. Signs of eye sunburns include redness, loss of vision, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, excessive tearing, eye pain, a gritty feeling in the eyes, small pupils and seeing halos in your vision. The vision loss is generally temporary, but permanent vision loss can happen over time with repeated bouts of snow blindness.
Many people know that summertime is when the sun is hottest and brightest. Just like you can get a sunburn, you can also burn and damage your eyes. Even if you put sunblock on your skin, that doesn’t do anything for your eyes. You must protect children’s eyesight with proper sunglasses fit for them. Each day of summer is a chance for harmful UV rays to damage your child’s eyes. Ultraviolet rays have the shortest wavelength compared to other lights, meaning they carry a ton of energy that hits your eyes strongly.
Vision can be damaged early-on when sunglasses aren’t worn, especially when children are outside frequently. Many parents don’t know the importance of sunglasses for children and don’t stress that they wear them. This is especially true with little ones who take sunglasses off. It’s incredibly important to wear sunglasses though, even if your child needs ones that fasten around the head. Studies show that Americans spend so much time outdoors that the eyes and body have absorbed half a lifetime’s worth of UV rays by age 18. For a child’s sunglasses, you want to make sure they have 100% UVA and UVB protection and block UV absorption up to 400 nanometers. They need to fit a child’s face and block and protect the area around the eyes.
Looking at the sun even once can hurt delicate tissues in the eyes that can’t fix themselves. Being outside without sunglasses can quickly cause vision damage in children that stay with them throughout life. Protect their eyesight with custom-made sunglasses that are guaranteed to block out 100% of harmful UV rays. Store-bought sunglasses often don’t provide any UV protection, so make sure you always buy sunglasses with 100% UV protection. To schedule your sunglasses consultation or your family’s eye exams, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 333-2800!