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Across from the Delta Hotel on Erb St. in Waterloo, ON

Across from the Delta Hotel on Erb St. in Waterloo, ON

Home » What's New » Ultraviolet Awareness Month – Protect Your Vision

Ultraviolet Awareness Month – Protect Your Vision

 

Due to education to create awareness of the hazards of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation to your skin, (particularly sunburn and skin cancer), most are aware of the importance of using UV blocking sunscreen and using other forms of sun protection particularly during the blazing summer months. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation from the sun can also cause severe damage to your eyes.

If you are considering leaving the house without sunglasses, reconsider. Prolonged absorption of the sun's ultraviolet light has been linked to damage to the eye.

Risks of UV Eye Exposure

Intense UV exposure over a short interval can lead to photokeratitis meaning a ''sunburn of the eye'', which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary vision loss. In the long run, UV exposure can cause more serious eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can be a threat to vision. Those who use welding machines, tanning beds and lasers are also at heightened risk of exposure to UV radiation.

UV Eye Protection

For effective ultraviolet defense, you should only purchase sunglasses that keep out 100 percent of ultraviolet radiation. Look for shades labeled ''UV 400'', which indicates that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere).

You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Sunglasses with side protection can block dangerous ultraviolet light from entering from the rear of the sunglasses.

You don't have to empty your pockets to have sufficient UV coverage, but it's essential to be sure the sunglasses offer full UV protection. More and more manufacturers recognize the importance of offering proper UV defense. Further, as well as protecting your eyes from the risks of UV exposure, stylish sunglasses are all the rage, so pick up a pair (or two) and let the sun shine down!