It's safe to assume that almost everybody is exposed to UV rays on a regular basis. Even though this is the case, the potential dangers related to long-term exposure to these harmful rays aren't really thought through, and the majority of people barely take enough action to guard their eyes, even if they're expecting on being outside for many hours. UV overexposure is dangerous and cannot be reversed, and can cause a number of serious, vision-stealing conditions in older age. This means that ongoing protection from these rays is a must for everyone.
UV radiation, which comes mostly from the sun, consists of 2 categories of harmful rays: UV-A and UV-B. Despite the fact that only small amounts of UVA and UVB light enter the inner eye, the ocular cells are very vulnerable to the damaging effects of their rays. Small amounts of this kind of exposure can easily lead to sunburn of the eye, often referred to as photokeratitis. When UVB rays enter the cornea, the cells that make up its exterior are destroyed, which can be expressed as pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. UVA rays can actually penetrate much deeper into the eye, which causes damage to the retina. Over time, UV rays can cause substantial damage to eye sight.
One of the best ways to guard your eyes from UV rays is through the use of quality eyewear. Be sure that your sunglasses or prescription glasses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Wearing an insufficient pair of sunglasses can actually be more harmful than having no sunglasses at all. Basically, when your sunglasses don't offer any UV protection, you are actually increasing your exposure to UV rays. Sunglasses that are inadequate will block some of the light, which causes your iris to open and let even more light in. This means that more UV will hit your retina. Always check to make sure your sunglasses provide maximum UV protection.
Make an appointment to speak with your optometrist about the various UV protection choices, including adaptive lenses, polarized lenses and fixed tint sunglasses.