According to the "Prevent Blindness America" organization, protecting your eyes from UV radiation is just as important as safeguarding your skin. In particular, UV-rays can cause macular degeneration, cataract, pterygium (a growth that begins in the white of the eye and may affect the cornea), cancer of the eyelid, and corneal sunburn.
The best protection for your eyes is to wear UV-blocking sunglasses whenever you're outside. Here are some tips for what to look for when you buy sunglasses:
- Buy from a reputable retailer: their products will meet frame and lens quality criteria set by the American National Standards Institute.
- Look for UV protection: Sunglasses should filter UVA and UVB light.
- Try the sunglasses on: sunglasses that are not comfortable are less likely to be worn.
- The darkness of a lens has nothing to do with UV protection, although various lens colors can offer other benefits. For instance, yellow- and brown-tinted lenses are best when used for water sports; gray, brown and amber are for field sports; and mirror coatings work well for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
- For extra protection, wraparound glasses or glasses with larger temple pieces help block the sun from side angles.
Additional resources can be found on the Prevent Blindness America website: http://www.preventblindness.org/uv/.