It's safe to assume that almost everybody is exposed to UV rays on a regular basis. However, the potential risks of years of exposure to these harsh rays are rarely considered, to a point where the majority of people take little action to protect their eyes, even if they're expecting to be exposed to the sun for many hours. Overexposure to UV is unsafe and irreversible, and can also result in several serious, sight-stealing diseases down the road. And so, continuing protection from UV rays is a must for everyone.
UV radiation, which originates mostly from the sun, consists of two sorts of harmful rays: UV-A and UV-B. Despite the fact that only small measures of UVA and UVB light reach the inner eye, the ocular tissue is extremely receptive to the damaging effects of their rays. Small amounts of this kind of exposure can easily result in sunburn of the eye, often referred to as photokeratitis. When UVB rays enter the cornea, the outer cells are significantly damaged, and this can be expressed as blurred vision, pain or temporary blindness. UVA rays can actually penetrate much deeper into the eye, which causes damage to the retina.
A really great way to shield your eyes from UV rays is with quality eyewear. Ensure that your sunglasses or regular glasses block both UVA and UVB rays completely. Wearing an insufficient pair of sunglasses can be worse than wearing no sunglasses at all. Consider this: when your sunglasses offer no protection against UV, you're actually getting more UV rays. Sunglasses that are inadequate generally block some of the light, forcing the iris to open and let more light in. And this means that even more UV will hit your retina. Always be sure that your sunglasses give effective UV protection.
Speak to your optometrist about all the different UV protection options, including fixed tint sunglasses, adaptive lenses and polarized lenses.