woman smiling wearing sunglasses for uv protection

Why You Need Sunglasses To Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays This Summer  

Jun 27, 2023 | Glasses

As the summer sun shines brightly, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that UV rays pose to our eyes.  

Prolonged and excessive exposure to UV radiation can damage the delicate tissues of our eyes which are susceptible to damage caused by UV rays. These changes can accumulate over time and result in vision impairment or loss.  

This blog will shed light on the importance of sunglasses as a vital tool in safeguarding our eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation. 

The dangers of UV rays to eyes 

Prolonged and excessive exposure to UV radiation can lead to various eye conditions and diseases, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancer of the eyelids or the surface of the eye.  

UV rays can penetrate the delicate tissues of the eyes, causing damage to the lens, retina, and other structures. Over time, this damage can accumulate, resulting in vision impairment and potential vision loss. 

Sun damage to the eyes can occur in all seasons. You don’t have to be relaxing on a hot beach to be vulnerable to sun damage to the eyes. Ever wondered why skiers wear sunglasses? It’s because the sun reflecting off the snow can cause damage to their eyes! 

Just like using sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, we must take precautionary steps to protect our eyes. This is important for children as they have less pigment in their eye and larger pupils which means their natural defences against UV rays are weak. It’s estimated that 80% of UV damage happens before we reach the age of 18. 

How sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays

Choosing the right sunglasses to protect your eyes is important. They act as a barrier between our eyes and the sun, shielding them from the damaging effects of UV radiation 

High-quality sunglasses are designed with built-in UV filters that effectively block dangerous rays from the sun, preventing them from reaching our eyes. By absorbing or reflecting UV radiation, sunglasses reduce the amount of UV light that enters the eyes, thus minimising the risk of UV-related eye conditions. 

You can also get polarised lenses which offer UV protection and reduced glare. Glare reduction is important on the beach, near bodies of water, or if you’re surrounded by a lot of snow. Glare occurs when light reflects off smooth, reflective surfaces, causing intense brightness and visual discomfort. 

Polarised lenses are an advanced lens technology commonly found in sunglasses. They not only provide UV protection but also help reduce glare. Polarised lenses contain a special filter that filters out distracting light waves responsible for glare, resulting in clearer and more comfortable vision. 

Choosing the right sunglasses to protect your eyes

So how do you choose the right sunglasses for your eyes?  

Here are a few tips to consider. 

UV protection 

Look for sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection or block both UVA and UVB rays. Check for labels or stickers indicating the sunglasses have the ability to provide full UV protection.  

Lens category 

Sunglasses are categorised based on their level of sun glare reduction and UV protection. Categories range from 0 to 4, with 0 providing the least protection and 4 offering the highest level of protection. For everyday use, choose sunglasses with a category of 2 or 3, as they provide a good balance between UV protection and visible light transmission. 

Polarised lenses 

Consider sunglasses with polarised lenses, which not only provide UV protection but also reduce glare from reflective surfaces. Polarised lenses are particularly beneficial for activities such as driving, fishing, or skiing, where glare can significantly affect vision and safety. 

Fit and coverage 

Sunglasses with larger frames or wraparound styles offer better coverage, reducing the amount of UV rays that can enter from the sides. A snug fit helps to prevent UV rays from reaching your eyes from any angle. 

Quality and certification 

Choose sunglasses from reputable brands or optical stores to ensure high-quality lenses that meet industry standards. Look for certifications like the British Standard to ensure the sunglasses meet the required safety standards. Alternatively, just ask our friendly team for help! 

We hope you understand the importance of protecting your eyes this summer! If you’re looking for an optician in Northern Ireland, visit our store and check out our range of sun protective prescription glasses and sunglasses


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