Kayaker wearing Wiley X Polarized Sunglasses

The Dangers Of UV Radiation

It’s simple, exposing your eyes to UV radiation is dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the UV light is from natural sunlight or artificial sources. Both long and short term exposure can cause damage to your eyes, which may compromise your overall eye health. There are several eye diseases and conditions caused by exposure to UV radiation:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Pterygium
  • Skin Cancer
  • Photokeratitis

The Solution

Consistently wearing sunglasses or protective eyewear with lenses that block UV light is the key to protecting your eyes from UV radiation. Plus, your overall health will benefit from protecting your eyes from excessive amounts of sun exposure. So it’s an excellent idea to get into the habit of wearing sunglasses during outdoor activities.

Unfortunately, half of individuals surveyed wear sunglasses that truly protect their eyes. In fact, several people didn’t realize their dime store sunglasses didn’t block UV light. Many people felt children should wear sunglasses too, but one glance at a park or ball field on a sunny day and the lack of follow through in this area is evident.

"Even though 75 percent of Americans report having concerns about UV eye exposure, less than one-third (31 percent) wear sunglasses every time they go outside, according to the 2016 VisionWatch survey of more than 10,000 adults 18 and older." – 2016 UV Protection Report from thevisioncouncil.org

So Why The Disparity?

Many people focus only on fashion or price when choosing sunglasses. Which means they may purchase sunglasses that don’t adequately filter harmful UV radiation. Others don’t feel wearing UV protection is an absolute necessity all the time. The fact is, most people don’t realize the long-term health risks to their eyes caused by exposure to UV radiation.

Wiley X Sunglasses Running Outdoors

Consistently wearing UV-blocking sunglasses will provide long-term health benefits.

5 Facts Regarding UV Protection for Eyes

If you’re one of those individuals, consider the following five facts to help eliminate these and any other excuses for not protecting your or your children’s eyes against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

    1. Experts stress the importance of UV protection for eyes. In “How the Sun Affects Our Eyes: An Interview with an Optometrist,” author Denise Cripps details how not only is the accumulated effect of UV rays on eyes significant, but it applies particularly to those under 18. Protecting your eyes is crucial, eliminating excuses for not protecting them is a worthwhile pursuit.
    2. You can have BOTH fashion and UV protection. Many individuals choose sunglasses based on style, but many fashion sunglasses often fail to protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Fortunately, a large variety of sunglasses do protect the eyes and look great on the wearer too.
    3. Affordability is no longer an issue. While many sunglasses with UV protection can get pricey, there are just as many affordable options too. With prices starting at a few dollars, cost no longer exists as an excuse for not wearing sunglasses.
    4. Options eliminate excuses. With the vast selection of styles available today there’s no reason to compromise. There are a variety of over-prescription eyewear and safety sunglasses with UV protection to fit anyone’s unique situation. Even those wearing bifocals have some terrific options with ONOS bifocal sunglasses and reading safety glasses.

    Protecting children’s eyes doesn’t have to be expensive. Many people are hesitant to spend a lot of money on sunglasses for children. Let’s face it, kids are rough or forgetful and often both. Fortunately, many inexpensive options exist to protect young eyes from UV rays. Plus, many safety sunglasses provide protection from impact hazards such as those that come with sports. Options are so affordable, under $3.00 each, that purchasing a backup pair makes sense too.

    Wearing Wiley X Sunglasses While Hiking

    Sunglasses with wraparound frames will provide additional protection from harmful UV radiation.

    UV Protection Requires Good Habits

    I know, changing your habits can be a struggle, but persistence pays off. Properly education yourself about the hazards of UV radiation is the first step to eliminating excuses. When it comes to UV protection, no reason should stand in the way of protecting your eyes. By establishing good eye safety habits and consistently wearing UV protection, you’ll enjoy a positive impact on your vision for a lifetime.

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