You’ve probably already heard that you shouldn’t look directly at the sun because it will damage your vision. Even if you’re not looking at it though, the sun gives off ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can be harmful to eyes!
There are three types of UV radiation. Because UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer before it reaches us, it doesn’t present any threat. It’s UV-A and UV-B rays that can have both long- and short-term effects on your eyes. Excessive amounts of UV radiation can cause photokeratitis, which can be described as a “sunburn of the eye.” Symptoms of photokeratitis include red eyes, a sensation of a foreign body or gritty feeling in the eyes, excessive tearing, or extreme sensitivity to light. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to come in and see one of our Optometrists as medically necessary visits are covered by Alberta Health Care.
Prolonged exposure to UV radiation poses a greater risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life. The exact threshold of how much UV radiation is damaging to eyesight is not known, but it’s advisable to wear quality sunglasses that offer UV protection whenever you spend time outdoors all year round.
When looking for sunglasses that offer adequate UV protection, look for lenses that:
- Block out 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
- Polarized to reduce glare
- Wraparound frames are offer better coverage
- Start as early as possible (infancy)
Come by to our gallery and we would love to show you how to protect your eyes from UV starting as early as possible as we carry sunglasses for all ages. Sunnies are an additional 20% this month only!