Sunglasses: Functional and Stylish
As summer approaches, we look forward to spending countless hours basking in the sun. Whilst most of us have experienced the effects of not protecting our skin from the sun and are aware of the long term dangers, only a few of us are informed about its harmful effects on our eyes.
UV rays are component of the sun’s ray that have the most damaging effect and may have several short and long-term implications, which may easily be avoided.
UV rays are made up of three components: UVA UVB & UVC. Very little UVC reaches the earth as most of it is absorbed by the earths’ sunscreen, i.e. the ozone layer. The invisible UVA & UVB rays are the ones to look out for.
A day spent at the beach under the scorching sun may give you a glowing tan. However chances are that this may be accompanied by bloodshot, swollen and dry eyes which are hypersensitive to light. However, the most worrying aspects are the longer-term effects that are caused by gradual constant exposure to sunlight throughout our life. So protecting children’s eyes from the sun from an early age is highly recommended.
Exposure to UV rays can lead to significant and lasting damages to our eyes and our vision. The following are most commonly seen.
- Pterygium: Abnormal benign tissue growth on the white part of the eye known as the sclera which may or may not effect our vision but may cause dry irritated itchy eyes
- Cataracts: Clouding of the intra ocular lens which usually happens due to ageing. However UV light may accelerate this process significantly.
- ARMD: Age related Macular degeneration whereby the cells which gives us our central crisp vision are damaged.
- Growths on the eyelids which may spread to the eye and surrounding tissue.
What we can do:
- Wear UV Protective sunglasses outdoors all year round, more so during the summer months. Although the UV index peaks during the summer months we are constantly being exposed to it all year round.
- Darkness of a lens has no relation to how much UV is filtered out. So it is important that the sunglasses you are wearing do protect you from UV light. Look out for UV filters and polarized lenses when purchasing sunglasses.
- Avoid staying in the sun between 11 and 3.
- Keep hydrated throughout the day by drinking lots of water
- Use sun screen
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