Sunglasses aren’t just for looking fabulous! They’re also for protecting your eye health from UV radiation. Just like you wouldn’t go outside without sunscreen, you shouldn’t head into the hot desert sun without that perfect pair of shades.

What is UV Radiation?

Ultraviolet radiation, or UV, comes from ultraviolet light. The wavelength is too short for our eyes to perceive. We break UV light down into three types. You may have heard about these in advertisements for sunscreen. These types are:

  • UVA – UVA rays are less intense than other types of UV radiation, but they penetrate more deeply into your eyes and skin. About 95% of UV rays are UVA.
  • UVB – UVB rays have more energy than UVA, but don’t penetrate as far into your eyes and skin. They can directly damage DNA and are the primary cause of both skin cancers and premature aging. They make up about 5% of UV rays because our ozone layer and clouds filter them.
  • UVC – UVC rays can cause serious damage to all life. Fortunately, the Earth’s ozone layer catches these! They don’t make it to the surface of the planet.

All types of UV radiation can cause sunburns, cancers, signs of premature aging, and damage to your eyes. This is why it’s vital to protect yourself from UV radiation with quality sunscreens, hats, and sunglasses.

How Does UV Radiation Affect Your Eyes?

UV light can damage every part of your eye – even your eyelid! This damage can even happen on cloudy or foggy days. The same way going outside without sunscreen can lead to skin problems, going out without your sunglasses can cause eye health issues, including:

  • Corneal damage
  • Cataracts
  • Sunburned eyelids
  • Pinguecula (a deposit of proteins and fats that can irritate your eye)
  • Pterygium or surfer’s eye (a growth that can form between the sclera and cornea)
  • Cancer

How to Protect Yourself from UV Radiation

Always wear sunscreen when you go outside! Select a hat with a broad brim that blocks plenty of sun from your face. Choose sunglasses with good UV protection and features that will enhance your favorite activities, such as polarized lenses or goggles.

You’re Made in the Shade at Valley Eyecare Center!

Looking for prescription shades to protect your eyes from UV radiation? Valley Eyecare Center can help! You can contact us online, or call us at (602) 955-2700 to make an appointment!