Fitness & Wellness

Protect your eyes from UV rays – North Texas Eye Research Institute
May 28, 2020

Protect your eyes from UV rays – North Texas Eye Research Institute

The sun releases energy (radiation) in many forms. The sunlight we see is one form. The heat we feel from the sun is another. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, a third type, are also invisible to the eye. UV rays cause sunburn. They can also damage your eyes and hurt your vision.

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B. Over time, the effects of UV rays may help cause a number of eye problems. UV-A can hurt your central vision. It can damage the macula, a part of the retina at the back of your eye. The front part of your eye (the cornea and the lens) absorbs most UV-B rays, but these rays may cause even more damage to your eyes than UV-A rays.

You can protect your eyes from UV rays in two important ways:
– Know the dangers of UV rays.
– Wear proper eye protection and hats that block UV rays.
UV rays can come from many directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they are also reflected from the ground, from water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.
A wide brimmed hat or cap will block about half of UV rays. It can also limit UV rays that hit the eyes from above or around glasses.
Eyewear that absorbs UV rays gives you the most protection. All types of eyewear, including prescription and non-prescription glasses, contact lenses and lens implants, should absorb UV-A and UV-B rays. For UV protection in everyday eyewear, there are several options like UV-blocking lens materials, coatings and photochromic lenses. UV protection does not cost a lot of money and does not get in the way of seeing clearly.

Everyone, including children, is at risk for eye damage from UV radiation that can lead to vision loss. Any factor that increases the amount of time you spend in the sun will increase your risk.
People who work or play in the sun for long periods of time are at the greatest risk.
The risk of sun related eye problems is higher for people who:
– Spend long hours in the sun
– Have had cataract surgery or have certain retina disorders
– Are on certain medicines, such as tetracycline, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics and tranquilizers that increase the eye’s sensitivity to light.

For more information on how to protect your eyes and other eye health topics, visit