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What You Need To Know About UV Rays

Everyone is regularly exposed to UV rays. Even though this is the case, the possible risks related to many years of exposure to these harmful rays are not often thought about, and most people barely take enough action to protect their eyes, even when they're planning to be outside for an extended period of time. Overexposure to UV is unsafe and cannot be reversed, and can cause a number of severe, sight-damaging diseases in older age. And so, continuing protection from these rays is a must for everyone.

There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB, and both are harmful. Even though only small amounts of UVA and UVB light reach the inner eye, the ocular cells are very receptive to the harmful effects of their rays. Small amounts of this kind of exposure may lead to sunburn of the eye, or photokeratitis. When the cornea receives UVB rays, the cells that make up its exterior are destroyed, and this can lead to blurred vision, pain or temporary blindness. UVA rays actually enter the eye more deeply, which harms to the retina. Of the 20 million people suffering from cataracts, about 20 percent of cases are partly caused by long-term UV exposure.

One of the best ways to protect your eyes from UV rays is by wearing good eyewear. Ensure that your sunglasses or regular glasses block both UVA and UVB rays completely. An unsatisfactory pair of sunglasses can be worse than wearing no sunglasses at all. Consider this: when sunglasses offer no protection against UV, it means you're actually getting more UV rays. Such sunglasses tend to reduce the light, which causes the iris to open and allow more light in. This means that more UV will be hitting the retina. Always be sure that your sunglasses offer maximum UV protection.

Speak to your eye care professional about all the different UV protection choices, which include fixed tint sunglasses, adaptive lenses and polarized lenses.