UV (ultra violet) rays are emitted from the sun and pose a harmful risk to eye health. These rays harm by deteriorating the health of the eyes, and cause loss of in addition to distortion of vision if eyes are left unprotected from exposure to UV rays. The good news however, is that there are simple ways one can protect their eyes against UV ray damage.
As time passes, an increased amount of UV radiation reaches the earth’s surface as the protective ozone layers are depleted, allowing more rays to pass through. There are two types of UV rays UV-A and UV-B. Both are harmful and negatively affect the eyes. Not only can UV radiation lead to skin cancer, but eye damage and cancer around the eyes. Therefore, the ways to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays are as follows.
• Wraparound sunglasses
Wear wraparound sunglasses to make sure rays do not get reflected into the sides of the eyes where non-wraparound sunglasses leave one unprotected at the sides. Sunglasses are one of the best means to protect the eyes, but for the sunglasses to protect against the harm of UV radiation they need to be the kind that state they block 99-100 per cent of UV-A and UV-B rays. If you’re not sure whether your sunglasses are giving you enough protection and blocking UV rays 100 per cent then take them to your eye doctor or optician for an evaluation. Keep them on even if you’re in the shade as UV rays can still be reflected off of buildings, the pavement, water and bright objects amongst other things.
Extra care needs to be taken if snowboarding or skiing take care that you wear ski goggles that protect the eyes from UV rays as the snow will reflect more UV rays. Also care needs to be taken in winter as snow can reflect 80 per cent of UV rays. UV rays still pass through on cloudy days.
Kids spend a lot of time playing out in the sun, so make sure they wear sunglasses suited for kids that provide proper protection. Make it cool for them to wear the sunglasses.
• Wide-brimmed hats or caps
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or cap in combination with sunglasses will give you the best protection against UV rays.
Again, ensure kids wear wide-brimmed hats, they spend a lot of time in the sun and are more vulnerable to harmful UV rays.
Take note that UV rays are at their highest when the sun is at its zenith (peak) point, which corresponds to being from around 10 or 11 am to 2 or 3 pm in the afternoon.
UV radiation is harm grows as more time is spent in the sun, cumulative/increases the more time spent in the sun throughout one’s life.
• Regular eye checks
To preserve and protect vision, it is important to check the health of the eyes, eye health needs just as much protection as skin health. Damage caused by UV rays builds up overtime and deteriorates the health of the eye from a collected buildup of exposure, it is best to regularly visit the ophthalmologist (eye doctor) along with the rest of the family for an eye exam every year. Make it a routine, as a visit to the dentist routine so that any early signs of deterioration can be treated early.
Spending too long in the sun without proper protection can lead to the following eye problems: cataract, skin cancer around the eyelids, corneal sunburn, snow blindness, and macular degeneration and pterygium growths over the eye.
The best way to protect the eyes from UV ray damage is by a combination of wearing good sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, along with taking annual visits to the ophthalmologist. UV radiation has many negative effects on the eyes; the damage it causes if eyes are left unprotected can lead to serious eye problems later on.