Ultraviolet light, UV radiation, is part of the natural spectrum of light. UV is invisible to human beings yet it is certainly harmful to humans. Anyone who goes outdoors is exposed to UV radiation. It is now generally accepted that cataracts are probably caused by a lifetime of accumulation of UV radiation. It is felt that UV radiation also plays a role in the cause of macular degeneration. It is also known that skin cancers and premature aging of the skin are caused by UV radiation. With increased depletion of the ozone layer around the planet Earth, we are being exposed to increased amounts of UV light.
There are different types of UV light. There is UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. We are exposed primarily to the first two types. UV-B does the most harm, however, both are dangerous.
It is very important to always wear sun protection for the eyes. Photo Chromic (Transitions™) glasses protect at the 100% level and polarized lenses are also very effective in reducing both UV light effects and dangerous glare. Since Transitions™ lenses can be worn both indoors and outside without having to take them off, they make an ideal choice to always be protected.
Wearing a broad brimmed hat is also effective in keeping the sun out of our eyes and away from our face. It must be emphasized that UV light can go right through the clouds so protection is always advisable. For those who partake in higher risk activities such a snow or water sports, wearing polarized sunglasses and extra precautions such as side shield protectors is warranted. Most optical dispensaries can furnish appropriate protective eye wear.
It is highly recommended that children, who have no refractive errors and do not normally wear glasses, need to be protected too. It is never too early to get children in polarized sun glasses that protect them from UV radiation! It has been estimated that 80% of a lifetime of UV exposure occurs in the first 18 years of life.