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May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month


Thanks to education to create awareness of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (which include sunburn and skin cancer), most are aware of the importance of using sunblock and using other protective measures during outdoor activities. But how many of us know that UV and other harmful types of radiation from the sun also pose a danger to your eyes?

If you are thinking of leaving the house without sunglasses, consider this: Frequent absorption of the sun's ultraviolet rays has been seen to be a cause of damage to the eye.

UV Risks to Vision

Exposure to excessive levels of UV for a short amount of time can result in photokeratitis which means a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term UV exposure can result in more threatening eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can be a threat to vision. Just like the real sun, tanning beds present a substantial risk of overexposure to UV.

UV Eye Protection

For effective ultraviolet protection, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Stick with shades labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere).

The size of your sunglasses is also important. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous ultraviolet light from entering from the rear of the sunglasses.

It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on your sunglasses to have proper UV coverage, but it's essential to be certain the sunglasses provide full solar coverage. Many less expensive brands do offer proper defense against the threatening risks of exposure to UV light. Further, in addition to defending your eyes from the dangers of UV exposure, stylish sunglasses are at the height of fashion, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!