National Sunglasses Day: A Reminder to Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Light

National Sunglasses Day is held every year on June 27th and is sponsored by the Vision Council. While sunglasses can make you look cool, they are also beneficial to helping preserve your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.  Much of the population is still not aware that years of cumulative UV exposure can accelerate conditions like cataracts and age-regulated macular degeneration. If you want to actively participate in the event, post a selfie to your social media accounts, and use the hashtag #NationalSunglassesDay. This blog will look what UV light is and does plus several types of sunglasses and the benefits provided by each.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light

Stanford University states that UV (Ultraviolet) Light refers to the region of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and X-rays, with a wavelength falling between 400 and 10 nanometers. This electromagnetic radiation is not visible to the human eye, because it has a shorter wavelength and higher frequency than the light our brain perceives as images.

The article further discusses four basic subtypes of UV light. The first of the four is UV-A light (320-400nm). It is the UV light with the longest wavelength, and the least harmful. It is more commonly known as “black light”, and many use its ability to cause objects to emit fluorescence (a colored glowing effect) in artistic and celebratory designs. The next subtype is UV-B light (290-320nm) which causes sunburns with prolonged exposure along with increasing the risk of skin cancer and other cellular damage. Next comes subtype UV-C light (100-290nm) which is extremely harmful and is almost completely absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere. It is commonly used as a disinfectant in food, air, and water to kill microorganisms by destroying their cells’ nucleic acids. Finally, the last subtype is classified as Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Light (10-100nm) which can only travel through a vacuum and is completely absorbed in Earth’s atmosphere.

Prolonged exposure to UV-A and UV-B waves without adequate protection can have dangerous health consequences. The eyes should always be protected from UV radiation when outside by wearing sunglasses designed to block out UV-A and UV-B rays. If one spends a large amount of time outside or in any environment with UV-A and UV-B radiation, they can develop short-term effects like Photokeratitis (known in some cases as arc-eye or snow blindness), or serious long-term conditions including cataracts which lead to blindness.

The information provided for the National Sunglasses Day event states, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere at any time and place, but certain regions have heightened radiation levels. UV rays are particularly strong near the equator since they travel a shorter distance to reach the Earth’s surface. Cities at high altitudes also share higher UV levels because the sun’s rays can easily penetrate the thin atmosphere. If you would like to know the average monthly UV index for your state (or links to nearly anywhere in the world) see the EPA’ site for Sun Safety Monthly Average UV Index.

Cocoon Eyewear

These patented sunglasses are designed to fit over almost any prescription eyewear. With their extensive technology, they will provide a polarized view, while delivering optimum protection against harmful UV rays. These lightweight frames completely isolate the eyes from the elements, cutting glare, blocking harmful UV rays, and steadying fluctuation in light conditions. The elimination of glare provides a tranquil “cocoon” for your eyes, improving visual acuity and enhancing depth perception. These sunglasses are versatile and stylish, and ideal for those that don’t wear corrective eyewear too.

The Low Vision Cocoons offer a full spectrum of filters designed to enhance contrast and/or reduce glare for those with low vision impairments. The integrated side shields are precisely regulated to match the exact transmission rates and UV absorption curves of the front filters.

ILA offers 11 different types of these glasses including Polarized or Low Vision Wideline, Polarized or Low Vision Slimline, Polarized or Low Vision Pilot Large and Polarized Aviator XL.  See Cocoons Eyewear for the complete listing of available products.

NoIR Sunglasses

NoIR Low Vision Filters are the point where utility and comfort converge, providing essential light management, visibility, and protection with an eye on wear-ability. NoIR sunglasses are available in dozens of comfortable and fashionable styles, many with top and side-shield protection and designed to fit over prescription glasses. The NoIR Low Vision Filter System is made in the USA.

The NoIR Filter system employs the same technology used for laser protective eyewear, relieving glare by absorbing the short wavelengths of the visible spectrum that can scatter within the ocular media. All filters absorb ultraviolet radiation to 400nm, with many lenses also blocking blue light, protecting the retina from high-energy wavelengths which may contribute to the degenerative process culminating in macular degeneration.

ILA offers 50 different types of NoIR Sunglasses in many different lens colors and shades to suit most anyone’s preference To see the full listing see NoIR Sunglasses.

Eyesential DryEye Sunglasses

These sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun and the elements! Eyesential™ Dry Eye Sunglasses were designed specifically for patients with sensitive eyes, including those with dry eyes and allergies. They are also the ideal choice for anyone who is exposed to dust, wind, or extreme bright sun.

These glasses offer soft cushion frame liner provides 50% more protection from the sun and elements. They block 100% UVA and UVB light and come with an anti-fog coating. If interested in this comment visit Eyesential Dryeye Sunglasses.

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