UltraViolet Light (UV) it is the invisible energy that radiates from the Sun. We all know of the effects of UV on our skin, where several hours of exposure can cause sunburn, and long-term daily exposure causes premature aging of the skin. This same UV can also damage our eyes, often quite quickly. In fact, our eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than our skin, it’s just that we tend to not notice the eye damage, until it is too late.
We are exposed to UV light whenever we are outside. Over the course of several decades this will cause long term harm to our eyes, usually not apparent till we are past middle age. About half of all pterygium cases and about a quarter of all cataracts are causes by UV light. This is especially bad in Australia, where UV light is strong.
We can provide good UV protection for our eyes with quality Sunglasses. This means Sunglasses with UV blocking lenses. Dark tinted lenses are not enough. The Sunglasses must be 100% UV proof.
Direct sun exposure is not the only source of UV. We are still exposed to UV light if we are under shade. An umbrella, tree or open building will block direct Sunlight, but we still receive some UV light that is reflected off surfaces like water or snow. We should continue to wear UV sunglasses even in the shade.
While UV is strongest on hot Summer days there is still a significant amount of UV during Winter months and overcast days. We should wear UV proof sunglasses during daylight hours all year long.
Clear glasses can be coated with a transparent film to remove most UV light. This is very helpful as it greatly reduces the UV light we experience while wearing glasses. It is worth having your regular glasses UV coated.
Our bodies do need some UV light. This is needed for making Vitamin D and regulating Sleep cycles. We suggest getting about 15 minutes of Sun exposure in the early morning, and wearing Sunglasses and sunscreen for the rest of the day. People with darker skin may need more sun exposure to receive any benefit.
UV glasses do not last forever. Most will lose their effectiveness after about two years, with some more expensive glasses that have dual UV layers lasting perhaps 4 years. So after two years make sure the glasses or the UV coating are replaced.
A broad brim hat adds some extra protection for your eyes. Wear both a hat and sunglasses when outside.
Computers, smartphones and personal devices may emit some UV along with blue light, which is similar to UV. We should uses glasses that filter this light whenever possible, or active the ‘night view’ setting on the computer.
UV Proof Glasses – Optometrist Sydney CBD
UV protection can be added to prescription glasses, giving long term protection for your eyes. This is especially good for quality sunglasses.
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