Sun and Safety Frames

Most people are aware of how harmful UV radiation is to the skin. However, many may not realize that UV radiation include artificial sources, like welding machines and tanning beds can harm the eyes. There are three types of UV radiation. UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not present any threat. However, UV-A and UV-B radiation can have long-and short-term negative effects on the eyes and vision.

If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you will likely experience photokeratitis. Like a “sunburn of the eye”, photokeratitis can be painful. Its symptoms include red eyes, foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Fortunately, theses symptoms are usually temporary and rarely cause permanent damage to the eyes.

The longer the eyes are exposed to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life. Therefore, whenever you spend time outdoors, wear quality sunglasses that offer UV block 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

If you participate in potentially eye-hazardous work or sports, your sunglasses or safety lenses should be made from polycarbonate or trivex material. These lenses provide the most impact resistance.