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Can eyes get sunburned like skin?

In fact, UV rays are not only absorbed through the skin but also through the eyes, causing sunburn. If not prevented, it can also cause many bad effects on the eyes.

What is a "sunburn" eye?

When we think about the relationship between our eyes and sunlight, the first thing that comes to mind is glare.

Glare is a phenomenon of visible light and has nothing to do with sunburn. UV rays cannot be detected by the naked eye, and therefore the effects of UV rays on the eyes are not easily discernible.

The most common acute damage that UV rays can cause to the eyes is conjunctivitis, a condition in which the white part of the eye changes color to red.

If the damage persists for a long time, the lens can be affected, causing cataracts.

Accumulating further lesions can lead to diseases such as pterygium and macular degeneration, and in the worst cases, blindness.
This type of eye damage caused by ultraviolet rays is called "eye sunburn".

The effect of "sunburned eyes" on the skin

The effects of sunburn are not limited to the eyes. When the brain senses ultraviolet rays have entered the eyes, it will start producing the pigment melanin to block the effects of UV rays.

In other words, sunburn in the eyes leads to sunburn in the skin.
Therefore, it is undeniable that sunburn in the eyes can contribute to skin aging and skin cancer. As such, the effects of UV rays on the eyes are very serious.


How to choose effective UV-blocking sunglasses?

Sunglasses are effective in providing protection from ultraviolet rays. However, if you choose sunglasses based solely on form and design, such as the shade of the lenses, you could be making a mistake.

The key to choosing sunglasses is to consider their performance in blocking UV rays.

1. Choose sunglasses with UV protection
If you choose sunglasses that block UV rays, choose sunglasses with low UV transmission. UV transmittance indicates how much UV light is allowed to pass through.

A lens labeled 1.0% or lower is considered to block more than 99% of UV rays.
In some cases, lenses may be labeled "UV cutoff rate", in which case it's best to choose a lens with a higher value.

2. Choose sunglasses with colors that provide natural vision
It is easy to assume that darker colored lenses will block more UV rays, but the color of the lenses has nothing to do with their UV blocking performance. If the color is too dark, the pupil will dilate, which can allow more light to enter the eye.

If the lens is UV-blocking, it will protect the eye even if the color is pale, so it's best to choose a lens that allows for natural vision.

3. Choose the best size sunglasses for UV coverage
Larger lenses cover a wider area. Choosing the right size is important because you will be exposed to UV even when the sun is shining from the ground up.

However, if they are too large to fit your face, UV rays can get through the gap between your sunglasses and your face. Choose sunglasses that are optimally sized for your face shape.

Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to cancer. You can read this article for early recognition and prevention.

Read the article: Does exposure to ultraviolet radiation cause cancer?

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