For most, protecting your eyesight is not the first thing you think of when it comes to buying sunglasses. Young people especially are more likely to think about the style of the sunglasses, whether they are in fashion and whether they look good or not.
Sunglasses are there to help you see when the sun shines in your eyes, but they are also to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Just like you apply sun cream to protect your skin, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation from the sun. Short and long term exposure to UVA and UVB rays, which is emitted from things other than the sun, such as tanning machines, can damage your eyes and affect your vision.
Short Term Effects
Over exposing your eyes to excessive amounts of UV rays in a short period of time can cause photokeratitus, which is a temporary inflammation of the cornea. It usually results in a gritty feeling in the eyes, sensitivity to light, redness and tearing.
Long Term Effects
Exposure to small amounts over a long period of time can increase the risk of cataracts and cause irreversible damage to the retina. Repeated exposure can increase the risk of chronic eye disease, and long term exposure can increase the risk of pterygium, which is a growth, and pinguecula, which is a lesion on the white of your eye.
For the best protection, choose sunglasses that are really dark and have large lenses, if not the wrap around variety. Look for sunglasses that carry a CE mark or British Standard BSEN 1836:1997. If you already wear glasses, then you’ll need prescription sunglasses, so check out www.glassesonspec.co.uk.