Protecting Your Eyes from UV Rays

Written by Lisa DiMauro | May 8th, 2015

My summertime mantra has become something like: protect my eyes from harmful UV rays, look cute doing it and have dinner outdoors at least twice a week.

Luckily for me, my eye-wear obsession, that you have no doubt gotten to know pretty well by now, meshes quite brilliantly with the need to protect one’s eyes from damage-causing UV rays. We have heard over and over again that an abundance of sunlight can damage eyesight over time, so I thought it would be helpful to break it down for you. It is easier to follow the “rules” when you know why they are in place. The three types of radiation to be familiar with are:

  • UVC rays

  • UVB rays

  • UVA rays

Only UVA and UVB rays can pass through the atmosphere and onto the earth’s surface. UVA rays account for about 95% of UV radiation. These rays are more prevalent and tend to produce long-term damage to cells. UVB rays, on the other hand, are more likely to penetrate on cloudy days and are highly reflective off water and snow (this factoid is precisely the reason I avoid lounging in the pool or beach without proper skin and eye protection). UV damage can cause a host of vision problems. Some examples of long term problems are age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract and cancer of the eye and surrounding skin area. Short term problems include hypersensitivity to light as well as eyes that are constantly bloodshot and swollen.

It seems, therefore, like a no-brainer that you should protect your eyes. The good news – and you will not be surprised by this suggestion in the least – is that if you do not yet have a pair of frames ready to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, you can just hop on over to your nearest JCPenney Optical to chat with an eye doctor about the best option for you (which just might, perhaps, be a new pair!). Some great tips for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays are:

  • Look for frames with UV-400 protection or CE mark
  • Try to find frames that cover your eyes as much as possible
  • Always carry sunglasses with you wherever you’re going
  • Don’t forget about your kids – they have a highly sensitive lens that makes them more susceptible to UV-related eye damage

So, in attempt to usher in this beautiful season as quickly as possible, I have devised a list of must-have-shades for summer 2015. Take a look and let me know what you think!

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