Protecting your eyes against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation should be part of any good eye care regimen. There are three primary types of UV rays: UV-A, -B and -C. UV-C are filtered safely by our ozone layer. Prolonged exposure to UV-A and -B, on the other hand, is dangerous for both your eyes and your skin.
That’s why you should take precautionary measures to protect your eyes against the sun’s UVrays.
Like a Sunburn on Your Eyes
Short exposure to both UV-A and -B can cause photokeratitis. This condition is often described as a “sunburn on your eyes” because it causes a similar sensation. The symptoms include excessive tearing, reddening and feeling like there’s a foreign body stuck inside your eyes.
Long-term, the effects of UV exposure are even worse. Your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts increases with the more your eyes are exposed to the sun. Consult with an optometrist if you experience any pain after certain outdoor activities like work or sports.
Wearing sunglasses is, by far, the easiest way to protect your eyes. However, not all sunglasses are made the same, and wearing the wrong ones will do little to keep your eyes from getting exposed to UV rays. Your sunglasses should meet the following requirements.
- Sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation.
- They must filter up to 90% of visible light.
- They must have matching lenses with no visible warping and indentations.
- They must have “gray” lenses for color recognition.
At Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, we are your leading provider of superior eye care services, including LASIK eye surgery and more. Give us a call at Alexandria (703) 660-9494, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists today. We provide care for residents of Alexandria, VA, as well as all surrounding areas.