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Protecting your eyes from UV

Throughout summer we will see many, many adverts telling us about the importance of using sun cream to protect our skin. But the same UV light we’re protected our skin against is also potentially damaging our eyes.

What is UV light?

UV or ultraviolet light is a type of invisible, electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun.

UVA rays are the most penetrating as they have the longest wavelengths. They cause immediate tanning and some burning to the skin.

The long wavelengths allow them to pass through the cornea at the front of the eye and reach the lens and retina, making them the most damaging to the eye.

UVB rays are a less penetrating, medium wavelength which causes surface-level damage to the eyes. They can also cause potentially dangerous delayed tanning and burning, and are the cause of most skin cancers. UVB rays only make up 5% of UV radiation emitted.

What does UV light mean for my eyes?

As with most conditions caused by UV rays the damage is caused over long term exposure building up over a number of years. UV exposure can contribute to diseases such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
  • Photokeratitis


Did you know?
Photokeratitis is essentially sunburn of the eye?
Also known as ultraviolet keratitis, excessive exposure to UVB rays causes the cornea to become inflamed.

Sunglasses provide protection     UV filter provides protection

How can I protect my eyes?

Sunglasses are the go-to option for UV protection. On bright summer days we will automatically turn to our sunglasses to help reduce the increased glare and make our vision more comfortable. Most sunglasses, whether they’re a standard tint or polarised lenses, have got a UV protection. (However it is important to remember that not all fashion sunglasses will have full UV protection).

Remember – UV protection isn’t just for sunglasses!

As UV isn’t something that can be seen we often forget about the dangers it can cause, even on overcast days and in winter there will still be a level of UV that could be causing damage. But on a cloudy day the last thing on our mind is wearing sunglasses!

UV400 treatment is a clear coating that can be added to ANY clear lens, from single vision to varifocals. By including this coating on your everyday spectacles you can protect your eyes all year round, no matter the weather!

Contact us to discuss how we can help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays