It’s always tempting to save money when possible, but trying to save a few dollars by purchasing cheaper, off-brand sunglasses simply isn’t worth the risk. The approach of summer marks the perfect time to be reminded of the importance of eye safety and protection, though the truth is that the sun has the potential to harm your eyes all year long. The sun’s dangerous UV rays can hurt your eyes as much as your skin, and selecting the right sunglasses can go a long way toward keeping your vision protected.
A Bit About the Sun’s Rays
The sun emits multiple types of UV rays, all of which are harmful. UVC rays are the highest-energy UV rays and pose the most danger to your eyes. The atmosphere’s ozone is intended to block all UVC rays, but as pollution and other environmental problems threaten the ozone layer, you can’t take its protective nature for granted. UVB rays, meanwhile, are the rays of the sun responsible for stimulating the production of melanin to tan the skin. They might feel great, but they can damage cells and create cancer wherever they land.
UVA rays, meanwhile, pass through the cornea and reach the lens and retina of the eye. This makes UVA rays incredibly dangerous to the eye; it is UVA overexposure that is mainly responsible for the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. The visible light of the sun, known as HEV radiation or blue light, can also penetrate deep into the eye and damage the retina.
Finding the Right Sunglasses
The eye is equipped with different protection mechanisms to minimize the amount of UV light that can enter. For example, the iris of each eye becomes smaller in bright light in order to protect eyesight. Since cheap sunglasses often don’t protect the eyes from 100 percent of UV light, and merely minimize the amount of light reaching the eyes instead, the irises end up opening wider to compensate for the lack of light. This leads the irises to actually absorb more UV light than they would normally, potentially resulting in serious eye damage.
To prevent macular degeneration, skin cancer, cataracts, and other serious eye problems, be sure to purchase a pair of high-quality sunglasses that will definitely prevent 100 percent of UV rays from reaching your eyes. Dr. Guggino of Guggino Eye Tampa Bay Eye Clinic can help you and your children select the best pair of sunglasses and evaluate your eyes to check for any existing damage. Call (813) 876-1400 to make your appointment today.