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Home Eyeglass Lenses Do you need UV protection in your sunwear lenses?

Do you need UV protection in your sunwear lenses?


Most of us know what the sun can do to our unprotected skin. Sunburn can be painful. That’s why we wear sunscreen with Sun Protection Factors (SPF) which provides varying degrees of protection against the sun’s “burning” rays.

But why do we need UV Protection Sunglasses?
While many of us wear sunglasses when we’re outside in the sun, it’s mostly because the sun’s glare can be uncomfortable (possibly even painful), especially if our eyes are sensitive to sunlight. Often, we don’t realize the risks of being exposed to the sun and how it could affect our vision in the long term.
But just as the sun’s rays can burn our skin, it also has the potential to cause damage to our eyes.

The sun is the source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. According to the Cancer Association, there are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC.  We’re mainly exposed to UVA rays (about 95% reach the ground) and UVB rays (about 5% reach the ground) from the sun.

According to WebMD, the UVA rays can harm the macula (the part of your eye that helps you see detail) while the UVB rays can harm your cornea and lens (which lets in light and works with the cornea to focus it on the retina.)

Both types of UV rays have the potential to damage different parts of your eye which are essential in helping it function effectively —and according to researches[1] even short term exposure is connected to  eye conditions and diseases.

It’s not enough to wear hats when you’re out in the sun. Nor is it enough to wear dark sunglasses. Just because they’re dark, doesn’t mean they offer effective UV protection. In fact, they can cause more damage than not wearing sunglasses. That’s because dark lenses cause your pupils to open wider. As a result, they let more light into your eyes.

When choosing Sunglasses lenses, make sure they protect your eyes from UV rays. Each component of the lenses plays a role in providing protection from sunlight and harmful UV rays including: the tint, lens material, and the coating, as well as the type of frame.
If you’re wearing non-prescription sunglasses, get expert recommendations concerning which sunglasses will provide effective protection for your eyes. It’s important to note that not all of the materials in prescription sunglasses will protect the eyes from UV rays. That’s why special coatings such as Shamir Glacier Sun ™ offer UV protection. Its anti-reflective (AR) properties prevent reflected sunlight from bouncing into your eyes as well as light reflected off the rear lens surface, so you’ll see well while enjoying protection from the harmful effects of UV rays.

UV protection isn’t just for sunny days. Even if you’re inside, you could be exposed to UV rays from the sun entering through windows that don’t have UVA protection. That’s why UV coatings should also be added to eyeglasses, to provide constant protection wherever you are.

[1] Reference to the research

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