There’s more to protecting eyes from UV light than meets the eye!
As UV light isn’t just exclusive to summer, it’s crucial to understand how to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays.
What is UV light?
Ultraviolet light (UV light) is a type of radiation that is invisible to the naked eye.
Radiation is the movement and transfer of energy or heat through objects.
Many objects emit radiation, from light bulbs and mobile phones to microwaves and the sun.
Background radiation is the term for the low levels of radiation that are all around us.
On the other hand, nuclear power plants create vast amounts of radiation, but the reactor typically safely contains this.
If a nuclear reactor is severely damaged, radiation can escape and harm the environment around it – such as with Fukushima and Chernobyl.
How to protect your eyes from UV light
Our eyes are more sensitive to UV light than our skin is, so actively safeguarding eyes from UV light is vital.
Longer daylight hours and sunny weather bring an increase in UV exposure from the sun.
Prolonged exposure to UV rays without appropriate eye protection can be harmful to our eyes.
You don’t have to be looking directly at the sun for UV light to enter your eyes.
However, we strongly advise that you don’t look directly at the sun as this can also cause severe damage to the eye.
Additionally, overexposure has been linked to both temporary and permanent sight loss.
So, sunglasses are more than a fashion statement – they’re essential to protect our eyes from harmful UV light.
A few things to consider when buying sunglasses
Close-fitting wraparound sunglasses provide the best protection as they reduce how much stray sunlight reaches your eyes from above and around your lenses.
When buying sunglasses always look out for the CE, UV 400 or British Standard markings as they indicate a safe level of protection for your eyes.
While some contact lenses provide UV protection, they don’t cover your whole eye, so you still need sunglasses.
Whether you’re travelling to work or on holiday, remember to wear sunglasses to reduce the UV exposure to your eyes.
Sunglasses aren’t just for sunny days
Did you know that our eyes need protection from UV light even when the sun isn’t out?
Surprisingly, the risk of UV exposure can be quite high even on overcast days because UV rays can penetrate clouds.
Eyes also need protection from UV rays that reflect from surfaces into the eye.
Sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV light in ‘high glare areas’ such as near snow or water.
Consequently, you should remember to wear sunglasses even when you’re in the shade, as the UV rays will be reflecting from buildings, roads and other surfaces!
However, you don’t have to fear sunny days or being outdoors!
Just remember to equip the correct eye and skin protection to reduce your exposure to UV light.