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Is UV Protection on Glasses Worth It?

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A man on top of a mountain wearing sporty sunglasses and a backpack while hiking with poles.

Spending time out in the sun is a wonderful way to enjoy a summer day. But protecting your eyes is crucial; too much exposure to UV rays from the sun can lead to long-term conditions further down the line.

This is why UV-protective sunglasses are an excellent idea. They can come in prescription and non-prescription forms, as regular eyewear and as dedicated sunglasses. Whether you’re looking to spend a day at the beach, working outside, or sunbathing in the yard, a proper pair of UV-protective glasses are an incredibly worthwhile way to protect your eyes.

What Are UV Rays?

UV, or ultraviolet, rays are a type of radiation that comes from the sun. There are 3 primary types of UV radiation:

  • UVA
  • UVB
  • UVC

UVA and UVB rays are the ones that can reach the earth’s surface. They’re responsible for helping your body produce vitamin D and play an important role in nature, helping plants and animals grow.

Are UV Rays Dangerous?

However, just because these rays are natural doesn’t mean they’re harmless. UV radiation can have significant long-term effects on the human body, and is closely linked to an increased risk of cancer. It affects our skin, causing sun damage and spots, and almost any other part of the body it touches.

The human eye is no exception to this rule. In fact, excessive UV exposure can lead to an increased risk of:

  • Cataracts, where the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy and can lead to vision loss
  • Age-related macular degeneration, a condition that affects the retina and can result in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field
  • Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, a growth that begins on the clear tissue of the eye and can spread to the cornea, potentially leading to vision impairment
  • Photokeratitis, a sunburn on the cornea that can cause extreme pain and even vision loss

So while you’re out soaking up the sun’s rays, you’re also putting your eyes at risk. So what do you do?

Do You Need UV Protection?

If you spend any time outdoors—whether at work or at play—you should always try and protect your eyes. Even if it’s cloudy, you’re still being exposed to UV radiation. Whether winter or summer, the sun remains a potential problem, making it crucial to properly protect your eyes.

Fortunately, this is much easier than you may think. A simple pair of UV-protective glasses can make all the difference in the world. These glasses incorporate specialized lenses, coatings, and filters that filter out harmful UV rays while still giving you clear vision.

Whether you need a prescription pair, a non-prescription pair, sunglasses, or more, these glasses can be an easy answer to your situation. They come in a wide range of styles and can be fit to your unique needs. This makes it simple to protect your eyes, allowing you to enjoy your time outside without putting yourself at risk.

How to Choose the Right UV-Protective Eyewear

Knowing that UV protection is important is only half the battle. You also need to know how to choose the right pair of glasses to make sure you’re actually protecting your eyes. So how do you do this?

Here are a few tips:

  • Look for a pair of glasses that states they block 100% of UV rays. The label should say either “UV400” or “100% UV protection.”
  • Try and choose larger frames that cover significantly more of the eye area, like large lenses or wraparound styles.
  • Consider polarized lenses, as they reduce glare—especially when near water or snow.

This way, you can make sure you’re taking good care of your eyes and vision, and protecting yourself against the risk of long-term eye problems in the future.

Protecting Yourself Against UV Radiation

While UV-protective glasses play an important part in protecting yourself, they can’t do their job alone. Your eyes aren’t the only vulnerable part of your body, so try to practice the following:

  • Wear sunscreen often, even if it’s cloudy
  • Use a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outside to keep the sun off your face, ears, neck, and other areas
  • Stay in the shade wherever possible, especially during the hottest parts of the day
  • Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants

By taking a well-rounded approach to protecting yourself, you can continue spending your time out in the sun without putting yourself at risk of further damage.

An optometrist performing a slit-lamp exam on his patient.

Get Yourself a Pair of Protective Glasses

Purchasing a proper pair of UV-protective glasses isn’t just about making a fashion choice. It’s about making a conscious effort to protect your eyes, lowering the risk of eye conditions further down the line, and being able to enjoy your days out in the sun—without putting yourself in harm’s way.

So come visit with our team at Total Vision Lake Elsinore! We can help you find the right pair of glasses so you can keep your eyes protected. Don’t wait—book an appointment with us today!


Written by Total Vision

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