When Should I Protect My Eyes from UV Rays?
“Well, on any sunny day, right?”
Actually, the short answer is that your eyes are exposed to a lot of UV rays even when it’s not that bright outside! Here are a few things you might not know about UV rays:
- According to the World Health Organization, light or thin clouds have little effect and may even enhance UV levels because of scattering.
- UV rays reflect up to 90% off snow, 30% off water and 25% off sand, increasing your total exposure when you’re around those surfaces.
- At a half meter deep underwater, UV radiation is still 40% as intense as it is on the surface!
- At noon, when the sun is at its highest point, your eyes actually don’t receive as much UV rays as they do at dawn and dusk when the sun’s angle allows rays to directly reach your eyes.
- Up to 75% of UVA passes through glass, so you are exposed even indoors!
“But… that’s pretty much most of the time!”
Exactly! So, you should protect your eyes from UV rays on most days!
But here’s the thing: even if sunglasses are a go-to for protecting your eyes from the sun (LINK), most people are not huge fans of wearing sunglasses on days that are not bright, at dawn and dusk, or inside. So, some contact lens and eyewear lens manufacturers came up with a simple solution: they integrated UV protection INSIDE their lenses!
For example, Acuvue brand contact lenses are the only major brand that blocks at least 97% of UVB and 81% of UVA rays, as standards across their entire product line. They even offer contact lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, which adapt to the amount of light entering your eyes while also filtering blue light and, offering protection from UV rays!
Discuss these options with your Optometrist during your next eye exam to see which one would work best for you!