We all know what the infamous ultraviolet or UV light is. We know that this ray can cause sunburn, cataracts and even skin cancer. We also know that there are many things we can do and practice in order to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of UV rays. The ultraviolet ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun and specialized lights. UV rays have both damaging and beneficial effects to humans. Exposure to UVB stimulates the body to produce Vitamin D; UVA radiation is used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and vitiligo, controlled amounts of UVB can also produce a long lasting tan colored appearance on the skin, which is preferred by most Caucasians.
When it comes to our eyes, high intensities of ultraviolet light can become hazardous. Too much UV light absorbed by the eye, damages its sensitive structures such as the cornea, lens and retina. This kind of UV light exposure can cause photokeratitis, or sunburn of the cornea, which will eventually lead to pinguecula formation, a conjuctival degenerative eye disease and cataract formation, the clouding of the eye’s lens. Other than limiting UV light exposure, wearing protective eyewear helps maintain eye health.
Protective eyewear designed to filter UV rays are typically sun glasses and prescription eye glasses. For those who prefer contact lenses, there are types that contain ultraviolet blocking agents. Most UV blocking agents are clear and invisible, so as not to interfere with vision. It is important to note, that contact lenses with UV blocks only protect the cornea, not the entire eye, which makes sun glasses and eye glasses a better option for UV protection. Sun glasses and eye glasses cover the entire eye and most of the areas surrounding it, using UV block contact lenses together with these items, provide more ultraviolet protection.