It's quite common for people to not think about UV rays harming them unless the sun is shining brightly. This is also true when people consider wearing sunglasses; while it's a good start to wear sunglasses when the sun is glaring in your eyes, it's not enough to protect your vision. Here's the basics about how UV radiation can affect your eyes, as well as details on what you can do to protect them, and when they need protection.
Believe it or not, UV rays can affect your skin and eyes all through the day, so long as the sun is up. This includes foggy, overcast, or even rainy days, as up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate through clouds. You're also still susceptible to UV rays if you're indoors near a window or in your car behind glass. So in short, if you go outside during the daylight and you're not using any kind of UV protection for your eyes, they may be at risk.
Many people have had sunburns, but did you know that even your eyes can be sunburned? Eyes that are exposed to excessive sunlight can develop photokeratitis, which is effectively a sunburn on the whites and corneas of your eyes. Sunburned eyes can be extremely itchy and painful, and your vision may become blurry or unfocused. They can also potentially become infected, putting your vision at risk.
All During The Daylight
The bottom line is, if you're not wearing some kind of UV protection on your eyes at all times that there's daylight, your eyes are being exposed to harmful UV rays.
Admittedly, sometimes sunlight isn't bright enough for sunglasses to be practical, or you may feel foolish wearing sunglasses indoors while sitting near a window. In these instances, it would be wise to talk to your optometrist about having a UV deflecting coating applied to your standard eyeglasses. This coating helps to cut down the UV radiation that goes through the lens of your standard glasses without darkening them. This simple step could help to keep your eyes healthier and less likely to be damaged by UV radiation.
Protecting your eyes from UV radiation now may help to reduce your risk of vision loss and cataracts in the future. If you're not currently protecting your eyes from UV radiation, talk to your optometrist about the best ways for you to do so. Click here for more information.