The sun is out for approximately 18 hours each day, and that means your eyes are being exposed to harmful light for long periods of time. Research into the effects of the sun has found that UVA and UVB light can cause irreparable damage to our eyes. Exposure to UV light can damage the cells that make up the eyelids, cornea, the lens, and the retina.
To prevent conditions related to sun exposure, look for sunglasses that block 99 percent or 100 percent of all UV light. This includes those labeled as “UV 400” or polarized lenses, which blocks all dangerous light rays.
Did you know that your eyeballs can get sunburnt? This condition is called photokeratitis. It can lead to slow blindness, which is a sometimes painful temporary loss of vision in sunlight. The symptoms of photokeratitis are increased tears, scratchy eyes, and a feeling similar to having sand in your eyes.
The sensitive and thin skin around our eyes is very susceptible to skin cancers such as Basal Cell Carcinoma. The eyelids are vulnerable because they are thin in structure and exposed directly to UV rays, which can lead to potentially life threatening skin cancer. Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of eye cancer which typically shows up as a bump, pustule, or skin lesion located on the ‘eyelid region’ or ‘nose.’
Wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses will help you to see more clearly on a sunny day. Polarized lenses are a special type of sunglasses that cut reflected glare. Reflected glare is sunlight that bounces off smooth surfaces like pavement, car windows, chromed surfaces, water, or even snow. They can be particularly useful for driving and fishing.
The “blue light” from the sun’s solar spectrum has been attributed to causing macular degeneration. This occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates due to long-term sun exposure. While macular degeneration is preventable, it is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60.
We’ve all experienced going from the sunny outdoors into a building where the light is low, and it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust. Wearing sunglasses outside can help reduce the time it takes for your eyes to adjust to the darker light. This is especially important if you are driving as the sun is going down, because the lack of proper vision during the adjustment period can affect your driving.
Of course, one of the best reasons to wear sunglasses is style! At Londonderry Eye Care, we carry hundreds of sunglasses such as: Maui Jim, Oakley, Tom Ford, Chanel, Dior and many other suppliers. You will have no trouble finding something that suits your sense of style.