The Importance of UV Protection for Your Eyes This Summer

June 7, 2023

You are probably excited to enjoy the outdoors more now that summer has arrived. But do not forget to shield your eyes from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays, no matter where you go—the beach, the park, or the pool. The sun’s UV rays can damage your eyes and skin. 


How UV Rays Affect Your Eyes


Your eyes can suffer from the immediate and lasting effects of UV rays. Some of the short-term and long-term effects include:




This is a painful condition that occurs when your eyes sustain sunburn. It can make your eyes sore, swollen, fuzzy, and light-sensitive. It typically improves in a few days but can be very painful.




This is a growth of tissue covering part of the white of your eye. It can cause irritation, inflammation, and vision problems. People who are often in the sun without adequate eye protection are more likely to get it.




This clouding of the eye’s lens can impair your vision and make it difficult to see clearly. It is one of the top factors that make people blind worldwide. UV rays can accelerate the development of cataracts.


Macular Degeneration


This is a degeneration of the macula, the central part of your retina responsible for sharp and detailed vision. It can affect your eyesight by making it unclear or fuzzy, especially in the core of your sight. It is one of the top factors that make older adults go blind. UV rays can boost the likelihood of macular degeneration.


How to Choose the Right Sunglasses for UV Protection


You should wear sunglasses that block 99% or more of both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are longer and can reach deeper into your eyes, while UVB rays are shorter and can damage the eye's surface. 

It would be best to look for sunglasses with a label that says UV 400 or 100% UV protection. Here are other tips to help you choose the right sunglasses for UV protection:

  • Choose a style that fits well and covers your entire eye area. Wraparound or oversized sunglasses are ideal because they prevent UV rays from entering from the sides or below.

  • Choose a color that suits your preference and comfort level. Different colors can affect how you perceive contrast and brightness. For example, gray lenses can reduce glare and distortion, while brown lenses can enhance contrast and depth perception.

  • Choose a lens material that is durable and scratch-resistant. Polycarbonate lenses are lightweight and impact-resistant, while glass lenses are heavier but more resistant to scratches.

  • Choose a lens coating that can enhance your vision and protect your lenses. For example, polarized lenses can lessen glare and reflections from water, snow, or other shiny surfaces, while antireflective coatings can diminish glare and boost clarity.




UV protection is essential for your eyes this summer. By wearing sunglasses that block 99% or more of UVA and UVB rays, you can prevent short-term and long-term eye problems and enjoy the sunny days without worry. Do not forget to pick a style, color, material, and coating that match your needs and tastes.

For more on the importance of UV protection for your eyes, visit Eye Associates of New York in New York, NY. Call (212) 650-4888 to discuss any questions with our team of experts or to schedule an appointment today.

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