The Importance of UV Protection

Protect your eyes with sunglasses from Sherwood Park Eye Centre!

Two of our Licensed Opticians wearing new SPY Polarized Sunglasses featuring the happy lens!When it comes to sun protection, most people think about applying sunscreen to shield their skin from harmful UV rays. However, what many overlook is the importance of protecting their eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Just as UV exposure can damage your skin, it can also have serious consequences for your vision and overall eye health.

Ultraviolet radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. It consists of three main types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While the Earth’s atmosphere blocks most UVC rays, both UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the atmosphere and reach the surface of the planet. Prolonged exposure to these UV rays can have detrimental effects on your eyes, leading to various eye conditions and vision problems.

Why are UV rays bad for our eyes?

  • Cataracts: UV radiation is a known risk factor for cataracts, a condition characterized by clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Over time, UV rays can cause oxidative damage to the lens proteins, leading to the development of cataracts and eventual vision impairment.
  • Macular Degeneration: UV exposure has also been linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among older adults. AMD affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision. Chronic UV exposure may accelerate the progression of AMD and increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Photokeratitis: Also known as “snow blindness,” photokeratitis is a painful eye condition caused by overexposure to UV radiation, particularly from sunlight reflected off snow, sand, or water. Symptoms include redness, tearing, light sensitivity, and a gritty sensation in the eyes, similar to sunburn on the cornea.

What are the benefits of wearing sunglasses?

  • Preventative Measures: UV-protective eyewear, such as sunglasses and prescription glasses with UV-blocking lenses, act as a barrier between your eyes and harmful UV rays. By wearing sunglasses outdoors, especially during peak sunlight hours and in high-altitude or reflective environments, you can significantly reduce your UV exposure and lower your risk of developing UV-related eye conditions.
  • Long-Term Eye Health: Investing in quality sunglasses with UV protection is an investment in your long-term eye health. By minimizing UV damage to your eyes, you can help preserve your vision and reduce the likelihood of developing age-related eye diseases later in life.

In addition to protecting your eyes from UV radiation, sunglasses also enhance visual comfort by reducing glare and improving contrast and clarity in bright sunlight. This not only makes outdoor activities more enjoyable but Don’t underestimate the importance of UV protection for your eyes. Whether you’re spending a day at the beach, hitting the slopes, or simply running errands around town, make UV-protective eyewear an essential part of your sun safety routine. Your eyes are precious – shield them from harm and enjoy a lifetime of clear, healthy vision.

Here at Sherwood Park Eye Centre we offer a wide range of stylish designer frames at affordable prices! All of our sunglasses will give you 100% UV coverage while looking your best. With sun season coming up, keep an eye out for new promotions and styles being released. If you are wanting to take a look now – we recently added a polarized prescription sunglasses package option at $249. This price includes digital prescription lenses and a stylish frame!

Written by Isaac, our Optical Manager