When we think of UV protection, we automatically think of sunglasses, but did you know that sunglasses aren’t the only types of eyewear that protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays?
Prepare to have your mind blown as we discuss how the sun affects your eyes and why UV protective lenses are an absolute must.
How Does the Sun Affect Your Eyes?
A day in the sun stimulates your cells to make vitamin D and keep you healthy, but we all know too much sun exposure is bad for us. However, we usually don’t think about the damage the sun does to our eyes.
Sun exposure can burn your corneas and damage your vision, which is why it’s crucial to wear protective eyewear anytime you’re in sunlight.
Here’s what happens when the sun gets in your eyes:
Most Common Side Effects
Are you crying, or have you just had too much sun exposure without UV protective safety glasses? Excessive tearing, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light are all symptoms of overexposure to the sun.
These symptoms might happen immediately after you’ve spent a day at the beach or become a problem that lasts much longer than your day in the sun. If you have a job that keeps you outdoors, for instance, and you don’t wear protective safety glasses, you may find that your vision declines or your eyes constantly water, even when you aren’t in the sun.
The Bad Stuff
Watery eyes are the least of your concerns if you expose your eyes to sunlight without protection. Over time, sun exposure is extremely damaging to your eyes.
They aren’t just for the elderly. Cataracts are a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes foggy. Cataracts make it difficult for you to see, and if left untreated, they can cause blindness.
Staying in the sun without UV protection can cause cataracts to form, so don’t fool yourself into thinking you can’t have them by the time you’re thirty.
Another eye condition that can cost you your eyesight is macular degeneration. This condition affects a structure inside your retina called the macular. The macular is responsible for giving you clear, detailed, laser-focused vision.
Some degeneration of the macular is natural as you age, but exposing your eyes to UV rays without protective lenses can damage the muscular, too, causing you to experience macular degeneration at a much earlier age.
Medical name: pterygium. Street name: surfer’s eye. This eye condition happens from exposure to light that is reflected off another surface, like water or snow. If you spend a lot of time skiing, surfing, or otherwise on reflective surfaces, the protective film of your eye, called the conjunctiva, can become inflamed.
When inflammation occurs in the conjunctiva, it can grow toward the center of your eye, preventing you from seeing clearly. Symptoms of this condition are watery eyes, dry eyes, and feeling like there is sand in your eye.
The cornea can burn just like your skin, but when your cornea burns, it is much more painful and irritating to your vision. “Snow blindness,” the condition you experience when you’ve been in bright sunlight and can’t see upon returning indoors, is a form of UV keratitis.
You’re at a higher risk of developing this condition if you live in higher altitudes, have a job or favorite pastime that involves you being in direct sun or reflective sunlight, or if you work with welding equipment.
The skin on your eyelids can burn from sun exposure, and they can also develop cancerous lesions on the outsides and insides of the lids. The skin on the eyelids is extremely thin and doesn’t have as many sebaceous glands as the skin on other parts of your body.
It’s much easier for you to burn on your eyelids if you expose them to UV light without proper protection.
It goes without saying, your vision is important.
Here’s what you can do to protect your eyes from UV radiation (with or without sunglasses:
UV Protection, but Make It for the Eyes
The best way to protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun is to stay indoors for the rest of your life. Not an option for you? We didn’t think so.
Thankfully, you’ve got options. It starts by using some good, old-fashioned common sense. If you’re going to be in the sun, always wear protective lenses and a hat. Your choice of lenses matters, and it’s more than just a matter of style.
What Are UV Protection Lenses?
UV protection lenses are lenses that are specifically designed to keep UVA and UVB rays from penetrating your eyes. These lenses are usually made by coating the lenses with a protective film that refracts the sun’s rays to keep your eyes protected.
Interestingly, the level of UV protection provided by your glasses has nothing to do with how dark your lenses may be. Let that sink in.
The color of your sunglasses doesn’t give you added protection. In fact, the color of your lenses only determines what visible light will be blocked. Different colors of sunglasses help to reduce glare, give you better contrast, or help you see better when you’re on the water or on snow.
How UV Protective Safety Glasses Work
Safety glasses are made to protect your eyes from flying particles, splashes, spills, and heat. Whether you work in an industry that requires you to wear safety glasses or you participate in activities that could damage your eyes (like yard work or home improvement), safety glasses with UV protection are a serious win/win.
Here’s how they work:
All Around Protection
Safety glasses are designed to offer all-around protection. This means you’ll have protection on the sides of your eyes where normal glasses usually have unprotected space and above your eyes, where your lenses gap between your brow bone and the frame.
UV Protection, With or Without Darkened Lenses
Safety glasses that are treated with UV protective coating offer protection without dark-colored lenses, if that’s what you need. That means the same glasses you wear to work can protect your eyes when you’re in the sun.
When selecting UV protective lenses, look for UV 400 on the label, which means your glasses offer 100% UV protection.
However, you’ll still be squinting if you don’t have darkened lenses. Lucky for you, Stoggles has you covered.
The Stoggles Difference
Stoggles are the safety glasses that protect your eyes like serious safety glasses but look like your favorite, stylish specs. Our glasses offer:
- Anti-fog coating
- Blue-light blocking
- ANSI Z87.1 certification
- Side and top shields
- Impact resistance
- UVA and UVB blocking
- Trend-worthy style.
You get all the safety you’d expect from a pair of safety glasses, plus UV protection and enough style to carry you from work to play.
Want protection with shaded lenses? Consider it done. SunStoggles have all the same great protective benefits as regular Stoggles, but with shaded lenses to keep you from squinting when those pesky UV rays are out and about.
Future’s So Bright
UV protection is important for your eyes, and it’s more important than just picking out a pair of cool shades. Stoggles is your solution for protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB rays while keeping you in style and ensuring you’re comfortable while you work (or play).
How the Sun Can Damage Your Eyes | Keck Medicine.org
How to test if sunglasses are UV protected? | All About Vision
Eye Protection at Work: What Are Safety Glasses? | Saint Lukes KC.org