Summer has arrived in Phoenix and it’s a good time to start thinking about how to best protect our eyes. We know UV rays are harmful to our eyes, but what are the risks and how important are sunglasses to our eye health?
How UV Rays Can Damage Our Eyes
UV rays are harsh on our vision, and much like our skin, they can give us ‘sunburn’ or photokeratitis in our eyes. Similar to sunburn on our skin, this can be incredibly uncomfortable. Beyond that, UV rays can affect our long term eye health. When we expose our eyes to harmful UV rays, it can increase our risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Whether the effects of exposure are long term or short term, they can both be equally degrading to our overall eye health.
Types of UV Rays
There are several types of UV rays. UV-A and UV-B rays are the two that can wreak the most havoc on our eye health. While we commonly associate UV rays with the sun, there are other light waves that can affect our eyes. Indoor tanning beds produce intensified UV rays which not only damage our skin but can also be extremely harmful to our eye health. Some individuals work in environments that expose them to harmful light rays, like welders or laser technicians. Many stores and offices now have florescent lights installed, which omit a type of blue light (much like our phones and computers do) that can put strain and stress on our eyes as well.
How to Protect Yourself
When it comes to being in the sun, the best way to protect your eye health from UV rays is by wearing high-quality sunglasses when you are outside or driving. Make sure the sunglasses you get block 99-100% of both types of UV rays (A and B) and dim visible light as well. If you work in a job that exposes you to potentially harmful light (like welders) make sure you always wear protective eyewear designed for the task. Similarly, consider blue-light glasses if you work in an office or in front of a screen often. These will help ease some of the strain and protect you from any long-term effects of blue light.
To schedule an appointment, call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next appointment online.