Constant exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays has been linked to serious eye problems including cataracts, macular degeneration, lipidome, pterygium, and snow blindness. To protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation, you should wear anti-UV sunglasses that block UV rays  100 percent.

Your eyes need protection even on cloudy days as the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can permeate cloud cover. The syntial-style sunglass frames provide the best protection. They limit the amount of sunlight that reaches your eyes from all directions.

What are ultraviolet rays?

Many people refer to ultraviolet radiation as “ultraviolet light”. Technically speaking, this term is incorrect; because UV rays are visible, while ultraviolet radiation is not.

There are three types of ultraviolet radiation:

Short ultraviolet rays (UVC)

These UV rays contain the highest quantity of energy and can be more harmful to your eyes and skin. Fortunately, the ozone layer in the atmosphere practically blocks all UVC rays.

This also means that the erosion of the ozone layer may allow high-energy short UV rays to reach the Earth’s surface and cause severe UV-related health damage such as sunburn and skin cancer.

The wavelengths of short UV rays range from 100 to 280 nanometers (nm)

Medium Ultraviolet Radiation (UVB)

Medium UV rays have slightly longer wavelengths (280 – 315 nm) and lower energy than short UV rays. These rays are partly filtered by the ozone layer. But some rays continue to reach the Earth’s surface.

Low-dose exposures to UVB radiation stimulate the production of melanin (a skin pigment) that causes tanning.

But exposure to large doses of the sun’s UV rays causes sunburn, which increases the risk of skin cancer. The sun’s UV rays can cause discoloration, wrinkles, and other signs of premature skin aging.

On the other hand, excessive exposure to the sun’s UVB radiation is also associated with a number of eye problems including dyslipidemia, pterygium, and photokeratitis. (“Snow blindness”).

Because the cornea appears to absorb 100 percent of UVB radiation, this type of UVB radiation is unlikely to cause cataracts and macular degeneration, which are instead associated with exposure to UVA (see below).

Long ultraviolet rays (UVA)

Long Ultraviolet rays are closest to visible light and contain less energy than short and medium UV rays. They can cross the cornea and reach the lens and retina within the eye.

Excessive exposure to long ultraviolet radiation is linked to certain types of cataracts.  Researchers believe that ultraviolet light plays a role in macular degeneration.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation risk factors

Anyone who spends time outside is at risk of developing eye problems from UV radiation. The actual dose of UV radiation depends on a number of factors. Some of these factors are:

Geographical location

The amount of UV exposure is greater in the tropics near the equator. The further away you are from the equator, the lower risk you are at.


The amount of UV exposure increases in the highlands.

Time of day

The amount of UV exposure increases when the sun is shining, especially from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


UV exposure generally increases in large open spaces, especially when there are highly reflective surfaces such as snow or sand. In fact, the amount of UV exposure can nearly double when UV radiation is reflected off the ice. UV exposure decreases in urban settings where high buildings cast shadows on the streets.


Some medications increase your body’s sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation, such as tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics, and sedatives.

Children need UV protection too

The risk of damage to the eye and skin from solar ultraviolet radiation is cumulative. This means that the risk continues to rise when you spend more time in the sun throughout your life.

With this in mind, it is important to protect children’s eyes from the sun, as children, generally speaking, spend more time under the sun than adults.

In fact, some experts believe that because children tend to spend much more time outdoors than most adults, up to half of their lifetime exposure to ULTRAVIOLET radiation can be reached by the age of 18.

In addition, children are more likely to develop UV-induced eye diseases. This is caused by the fact that the lens inside the children’s eye is thinner than that of adults, allowing more UV rays to deeply enter the eye.

Make sure your child is protected from the sun by using good quality anti-UV sunglasses or light-colored lenses when they are outside. Also, encourage your child to wear a hat on sunny days to reduce UV exposure.

Sunglasses that keep our eyes safe from UV radiation

To get the best protection for your eyes from harmful rays, always wear good quality sunglasses when you’re outdoors.

Look for glasses that block all UV rays 100 percent. Your eye care professional can help you choose the best anti-UV sunglasses lenses.

To protect the delicate skin around your eyes as much as possible, try to wear sunglasses with large lenses or those of a wraparound style.

Anti-UV Sunglasses

Depending on your behavior when you are outside, you may also want to explore sunglasses designed for sports uses.

The amount of UV protection that sunglasses provide has nothing to do with lens color or opacity. For example, light amber-colored lenses can provide the same UV protection as dark gray lenses. Your eye care professional can verify that the lenses you choose offer 100 percent UV protection.

In addition to anti-UV sunglasses, wearing a wide-brimmed hat on sunny days can reduce your eyes’ exposure to UV rays by up to 50 percent.

More tips on anti-UV sunglasses and UV exposure

There are many misconceptions about protecting our eyes from the sun. Here are some tips to consider:

Not all sunglasses block UV rays 100 percent

If you’re not sure what level of UV protection your sunglasses offer, ask your eye care professional for an assessment. There are many eye equipment available at your eye care professional that can measure the amount of UV radiation your lenses can block.

Don’t forget to wear sunglasses even if you are in the shade

Although shade to some extent reduces exposure to high-energy, visible rays and UV rays, your eyes remain vulnerable to UV rays reflected from buildings, roads, and other surfaces.

Sunglasses are a essenssial all year round

Anti-UV sunglasses are also important in winter because falling snow reflects 80 percent of UV radiation. This means almost doubling your total exposure to UV solar radiation. If you’re skiing, choosing the right lenses is essential for adequate UV protection on the slopes.

Even if your contact lenses block UV rays, you still need to wear sunglasses

UV-blocking contact lenses only protect the part of the eye under the lens. Ultraviolet rays can still damage the eyelids and other tissues not covered by the lens. Wearing sunglasses protects the delicate tissues and skin around the eyes from being harmed.

If you have dark skin and eyes, you still need to wear anti-UV sunglasses

Although darker skin tone reduces the risk of skin cancer from UV radiation, the risk of eye damage from UV rays remains the same as that of a light-skinned person.

Everyone enjoys the sunny day. But make sure you wear the right anti-UV sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.


In this article, we have tried to tackle the topic of using anti-UV sunglasses in an exhaustive way to show you how to protect your eyes effectively. If any of your questions may have been left unanswered, write them down in the comments area below. We will make the necessary efforts to answer them as soon as we can. 

Thanks for your reading.

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