As the temperature continues to rise, you may find that you can't wait to head outdoors and bask in the sun. Before you do so, it is essential to protect yourself from the sun's potentially dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation and get familiar with the proper methods for shielding your eyes. Sunscreen and hats are two common kinds of sun protection that may assist in warding off painful sunburns, potentially fatal skin cancers, and untimely aging brought on by the sun's UV radiation. Sunburns can also help avoid hazardous skin malignancies.
Sunglasses are another tool that may help rescue the day by shielding your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun's rays.
But how precisely can sunglasses shield your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun? If you use sunglasses, do they always provide this necessary UV protection? In the following paragraphs, we will address all of your pressing concerns about the protection that sunglasses provide and the health of your eyes.
The Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays
UVA, UVB, and UVC are the three categories of ultraviolet radiation. However, the ozone layer blocks all but two of these UV wavelengths.
Let's compare and contrast these three types of ultraviolet light:
The longest UV photons are UVA rays. They may go under your skin and into your eyes. The macula is the central section of the retina, and UVA rays may penetrate all the way to it because of how far they can go (the part of your retina that helps you see clearly).
Cataracts and macular degeneration are two eye conditions that may be brought on by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. As a result, you might age faster than you normally would, develop wrinkles and sun spots, and even get skin cancer.
UVB - The amount of UVB rays in the environment is much lower than the amount of UVA rays. While ultraviolet radiation from the sun (UVR) is constantly present, the hours of highest UVB intensity are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., throughout the spring and autumn.
UVB rays, when exposed to light, may cause a suntan. They induce your skin to create more melanin, which is why they are so effective. Sunburns, skin cancer, discolouration, and the onset of wrinkles are only some of the long-term effects of prolonged exposure to UVB rays.
The cornea of your eye absorbs approximately 100% of UVB photons because they cannot penetrate as deeply as UVA rays. Therefore, eye illnesses like pinguecula, pterygium, and photokeratitis, which are caused by exposure to UVB radiation, are mostly limited to the corneas.
UVC - UVC photons are the most powerful of the UV rays. You can relax; they won't be a problem. UVC rays from the sun cannot reach you or your eyes because they are absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. In the future, though, UVC rays may become a problem if the ozone layer continues to degrade.
UVA and UVB radiation, as you can see, pose a threat to your skin and eyes. To protect yourself from these harmful rays, you may wear protective clothing and accessories like sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
When worn properly, sunglasses may help ward against a number of different eye diseases.
The following types of eye disorders may be avoided by wearing sunglasses with UV-blocking lenses since they will protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays:
Photokeratitis is an eye ailment that may be caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If this happens, the corneas of your eyes will become inflamed, and you will have photokeratitis. You may picture photokeratitis as a sunburn on the cornea of the eye. A alternative name for this condition is snow blindness.
Burning, redness, blurriness, tears, a gritty feeling, swelling, sensitivity to light, and infrequently, temporary vision loss are some of the symptoms of photokeratitis. Fortunately, the majority of people recover from this disease on their own within a few days.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lenses of the eye and are caused by the cataract disease. It may cause a blurring of one's eyesight. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process, but prolonged exposure to UV rays may make your chance of acquiring them much higher. The World Health Organization estimates that ultraviolet (UV) radiation is responsible for around twenty percent of all cases of cataracts. Surgery is the only method that can successfully remove cataracts.
Degeneration of the macula refers to the deterioration of that portion of the retina known as the macula, which is responsible for your center vision. Processing clear pictures, such as text and facial expressions, is made easier using this tool. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to UV light may result in damage to the macula of your eye. If anything like this takes place, it's possible that your eyesight may become distorted, and you could also lose the capacity to perceive minute details.
Both pinguecula and pterygium, sometimes known as surfer's eye, are yellow growths that may form on the conjunctiva of your eyes. Pinguecula can be removed surgically, while pterygium cannot (the thin membrane that covers the surface of your eye). It's possible that these growths, given enough time, may get big enough to obstruct your eyesight. Additionally, they have the potential to leave your eyes feeling gritty and irritated.
Cancer of the skin that surrounds the eyes - The skin that surrounds your eyes, just like the rest of your skin, is vulnerable to developing cancer. Around the eyes, anywhere from five to ten percent of people may get skin cancer. Cancer of the skin often manifests as a raised lump or growth on the skin that often bleeds and forms scabs. Fortunately, wearing sunglasses may assist in shielding the delicate skin that surrounds your eyes from the sun's UV rays.