What Is Ultra Violet?
The sun’s primary danger to us comes in the form of UV light or radiation. UV radiation is a component of solar radiation. Artificial sources like welding machines, tanning beds, and lasers can also give off UV radiation.
There are three types of UV radiation. UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not present any threat. UV-A and UV-B radiation can have adverse long- and short-term effects on the eyes and vision.
What Eye Problems Can UV Rays Cause?
UV rays may lead to macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss for older Persons.
UV rays, especially UV-B rays, may also cause some kinds of cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, the part of the eye that focuses the light we see.
Another UV-related problem is a growth called pterygium. This growth begins on the white of the eye and may involve the cornea. Eventually, the growth may block vision. It is more common in people who work outside in the sun and wind.
Skin cancer around the eyelids is also linked to prolonged UV exposure.
Corneal sunburn, called photokeratitis, is the result of high short-term exposure to UV-B rays. Long hours at the beach or skiing without proper eye protection can cause this problem. It can be very painful and may cause temporary vision loss.
Who Is at Risk?
Everyone (including children) is at risk for eye damage from UV radiation that can lead to vision loss. Any factor that increases the amount of time you spend in the sun will increase your risk. If you answer yes to more than one of these questions, you may be at higher risk of UV radiation damage to your eyes:
Do you spend long hours in the sun?
Do you live in the mountains?
Have you had cataract surgery (in one or both eyes) or do you have a retinal disorder?
Are you on certain medicines, such as tetracycline, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics and tranquilizers (that increase the eye’s sensitivity to light)?
Are you a welder, medical technologist or do you work in the graphic arts or in the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards?
How Can You Protect Your Eyes from UV Light?
Know the dangers. UV rays can come from many directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they are also reflected from the ground, from water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.
Wear HI-Q Ophthalmic Lenses which blocks 99% of UV-A and UV-B lights.