What Is UV Eye Protection?

UV Rays

The sun supports life on earth; however, its rays, in the form of UV radiation, can also pose a threat to your eyes. Some artificial sources of UV radiation, such as lasers, tanning beds, and welding machines, can also pose a threat. The three types of UV radiation are UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC, absorbed from the ozone layer, is not harmful. UVA and UVB radiation, on the other hand, can have negative short- and long-term effects on your vision and eyes.

Most people know that it is extremely important to protect their eyes from the sun. However, UV rays can harm the skin around your eyes as well. Additionally, just because it may be a cloudy day, does not mean that you are safe from ultraviolet rays. UV rays can reflect off water, buildings, sand, and snow, even on an overcast day.

What Is Ultraviolet Eye Protection?

When you expose your eyes to excessive amounts of ultraviolet light, even over a short period, you will likely experience some photokeratitis. This condition can be quite painful, it is like an eye sunburn. Symptoms include a gritty feeling in the eyes, foreign body sensation, and red eyes. You might also experience excessive tearing and extreme sensitivity to light. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these symptoms.

This is where UV eye protection comes in. So, what is UV eye protection? Essentially, UV eye protection shields your eyes from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Many people protect their skin from the effects of the sun with sunscreen; however, some do not realize that they should protect their vision as well.

Importance of UV Eye Protection

Your eyes absorb harmful rays from the sun, which can lead to various health problems. Macular degeneration and cataracts are some of the health risks of UV radiation. UV eye protection is important because it will prevent or minimize the damage UV rays can inflict on your eyes. Ultraviolet eye protection, therefore, matters when it comes to protecting your corneas, the skin around your eyelids, and the crystalline lenses in your eyes.

When it comes to ultraviolet eye protection, you should look for the following features:

  • Gray lenses for accurate color recognition.


  • Lenses that can block at least 99 percent of both UVB and UVA rays.


  • Lenses free of imperfections and distortions.


  • Lenses matched in color.


  • Lenses that screen out between 75 percent and 90 percent of visible light.


The degree of darkness and color of lenses have nothing to do with the ability to protect your eyes against UV rays. When it comes to choosing the right UV eye protection, it is optimal to select close-fitting or wraparound sunglasses. They should have wide lenses that will protect your eyes from any angle. If you prefer contact lenses with UV protection, wear them in combination with sunglasses to increase protection.

At Clarke EyeCare Center, we believe that everyone deserves the best in vision and eye care. This is why we treat our patients in a professional, polite, and efficient manner. To schedule an appointment with us, or to learn more about our UV Protective Sunglasses, call us at 940-905-0700.

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