It's summer, so everyone's reaching for their favourite sunscreen to protect their skin from harmful UV rays. We've all been taught to keep our faces protected, but I find it interesting how often eyes get left out of sun protection discussions. You know to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays, but did you know that this includes protecting your eyes? The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your eyes just as much as they can damage your skin.
What are Ultraviolet Rays?
According to the WHO, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) cannot be seen or felt. UVR is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by the sun. It can also be emitted by artificial UVR sources (such as those used in industry, medicine, disinfection, and cosmetics).
The emission (sending out) of energy from any source is referred to as radiation. There are several types of radiation, ranging from extremely high-energy (high-frequency) radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays to extremely low-energy (low-frequency) radiation such as radio waves. UV rays are located in the centre of this spectrum. They contain more energy than visible light, but less than x-rays.
Mainly there are three types of UV Rays…
1. UVA radiation accounts for 95 percent of all UV rays that reach the earth's surface. UVA penetrates our skin deeply and can even pass through glass. UVA rays cause skin damage, resulting in a tan and dry eye. It is the most common type of radiation used in tanning beds.
2. UVB and UVA are the two basic types of ultraviolet rays that reach the earth's surface. Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVB rays are also the most responsible for skin cancer.
3. UVC radiation is the most energetic component of the UV radiation spectrum. Because of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, UVC radiation from the sun does not reach the earth's surface. As a result, the only way for us to be exposed to UVC radiation is through an artificial source such as a lamp or laser.
UV rays have benefits such as it produces vitamin D boosting metabolism and giving energy to the body, however, there are also severe health risks attached to it as well such as skin cancer, and harmful effects on your precious eyes.
UV Rays Harmful Effects on Eyes
Your retina may be harmed by UVA rays that enter your eyes, which will result in blurry or distorted central vision. An eye doctor explains how UVB ray absorption can damage your cornea and lens, causing eye sunburn, dry eye syndrome, or cataract development.
A pinguecula is the beginning of a pterygium, which is an expansion of fleshy tissue with blood vessels. It may remain small or enlarge to the point of partially covering the cornea. If this happens, your vision may be affected. It usually happens after a long period of sun exposure.
Snow blindness, also known as photokeratitis, occurs when the cornea of the eye becomes sunburned. Although it is unpleasant, it is only temporary and easily avoidable.
Simple solutions to protect your eyes from the UV rays:
UV 400 protection sunglasses because UV 400 blocks nearly 100% of the sun's harmful ultraviolet light rays. Light rays with wavelengths of up to 400 nanometres, such as UVA and UVB rays, are thus blocked.
Most hat materials offer excellent UVR protection because they naturally block or absorb it. Straw hats may have gaps between the individual fibres, but they also provide comfort, fashion, and air circulation.
Use eye drops that contain an intensive blend of naturally occurring tear components that rehydrate and protect the eye surface from UV rays. Eye drops such as I-Dew Ultra is an a specially designed ocular lubricant blend that contains naturally occurring tear components such as sodium hyaluronate and xanthan gum, and whose ideal viscoelastic and lubricating properties provide a natural protective coating to the eye surface. Compatible L-Carnitine and Erythritol contained in these eye drops are included to help restore the natural osmotic balance of the eye surface and rejuvenate tired eyes.
So get those eye drops in, put your best pair of sunglasses on, wear your fancy hats and go soak in the summer sunshine and a whole lot of happiness!