Ultraviolet (UV) light is an electromagnetic radiation from the sun that can cause serious damage to the eye, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. One way of protecting the eye from UV exposure is using lenses with UV coat.
Why following the UV Index is not enough
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Weather Service created the UV index to serve as a guide for the public when doing outdoor activities. It is a daily forecast of UV intensity levels for the day. It has a scale of 1 to 11+, 1 being the lowest and 11+ being the highest. The forecast is posted on the EPA website every day. However, avoiding exposure to the sun is not just a matter of managing your outdoor activities, especially when it comes to our eyes. Every day our eyes are exposed to the sun and extended exposure may lead to serious eye problems and conditions that may lead to loss of vision.
What are the dangers of UV exposure?
UV exposure can cause avoidable eye problems as well as long-term eye problems, such as macular degeneration, photokeratitis, cataracts, pingueculae, and pterygia. These conditions can lead to temporary to permanent vision loss. A recently conducted study has also shown that high-energy visible (HEV) radiation increases one’s risk of developing macular degeneration.
Certain people are more at risk of developing eye problems from UV exposure, these are:
- People with low blood plasma levels of Vitamin C
- People in tropical areas or near the equator
- People living in higher altitudes
- People who spend a lot of time in open spaces
- People who spend a lot of time on reflective surfaces such as snow and sand
- People who are taking certain medications such as birth control pills
How UV coat protects the eye
One way to protect your eye from UV rays is UV coat on lenses. UV coat on lenses works like sunscreen. It is a protective coating on eyeglasses which blocks the UV light from passing through the lenses; thereby preventing it from damaging the eye. Although the typical eyeglass lenses today block UV light, the additional coating boosts UV protection up to 100%. Aside from using a UV coat on the lenses, there are also materials for lenses that offer 100% protection, such as polycarbonate. These glasses do not require additional treatment of UV coating. If you are wearing contact lenses, soft contact lenses usually provide UV protection.
There are wide ranges of options you can choose from when it comes to protecting your eyes from UV rays. The most important thing is to go to a reputable eye clinic and have a regular eye exam. Do not go to just any eye clinic. Find one that offers different types of lenses for eyeglasses and contact lenses. For example, you can go to Houston LASIK & Eye, a leading LASIK or laser eye surgery center in Houston. They can provide you with the right information about UV coat in lenses and lenses to choose from.
Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS, and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.