What sunglasses will save you from ultraviolet radiation – May 14, 2023
When choosing sunglasses, you need to follow not so much the laws of aesthetics and fashion as the principles of maintaining health. After all, even the name of the accessory indicates that its main function is to protect the eyes and the skin around them from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. Colleagues from Woman.ru And “Dr. Peter“.
Like skin, our eyes can get sunburned, says ophthalmologist Boris Bondarev. And the defeat can be both acute and chronic. If we talk about acute problems, they arise when doing active sports – skiing on snowy slopes, paragliding, swimming in the open sun without goggles.
In addition to direct exposure to ultraviolet light, the reflected effect is also triggered – from snow, the surface of the water. Literally after a few hours, the eyes begin to hurt, tears flow, the eyelids turn red. But the discomfort quickly passes, and we forget about the harm we cause to vision. Meanwhile, eye burns are serious tissue damage that can lead to cataracts, retinal or cornea problems. All this can result in irreversible vision problems.
At the same time, daily, albeit minimal, exposure to sunlight can also adversely affect the condition of the eyes. This is especially dangerous for those who are in the southern regions, where the sun is most active.
There are several things to consider when choosing sunglasses. First and most important: the material from which the lenses are made.
Plastic: pros and cons. Plastic sunglasses are more difficult to break – as a rule, upon impact, they do not shatter into hundreds of fragments dangerous for the eyes and skin. In addition, plastic lenses weigh little – and the glasses themselves with them are lighter than glass ones. But any plastic, even very thick, transmits 100% of ultraviolet rays, so only a blocking layer applied over the lenses will ensure safety when wearing such glasses – and you still need to somehow make sure of its quality. The second drawback: plastic lenses are easily scratched.
Glass: pros and cons. Unlike plastic, glass does not transmit ultraviolet radiation, even if the lenses are completely transparent. So you can choose glasses with minimal shading and still be calm about the health of your eyes. And, of course, glass lenses are smaller and less prone to scratches. On the other hand, glass is a very traumatic material. If you are into active sports, drive a car all the time, or choose sunglasses for a child, these may not be suitable for you.
If you choose glasses with plastic lenses – they are the most popular today – read the label on the package. It should indicate what proportion of ultraviolet rays the accessory passes through. According to this parameter, lenses are divided into several classes:
- Cosmetic (marking on labels: Cosmetic). These let through 51 to 100% of UV rays – so these glasses are unlikely to protect your eyes. It is appropriate to wear them except in the hot season, when the sun is the least active.
- Universal (marking on labels: General). Lenses transmit less than half of the dangerous UV radiation, typically 20-50%. So this category of glasses is well suited for use in the city, where a large stream of sunlight simply does not reach the ground.
- Special (marking on labels: High UV-protection). This class of lenses most reliably protects the sensitive retina from burns. These sunglasses are indispensable on vacation, especially in highlands or near water.
Information about which class the lenses belong to is necessarily indicated in the certificate for glasses, but sometimes it can also be found on the label. The caption might look something like this: “Blocks at least 80% UVB and 55% UVA”. This means that the lenses block 80% of UV B rays (medium UV) and 55% of UV A rays (long UV). Both are dangerous to the human eye, so only percentages matter to you. Choose the pair, in the certificate of which both are above 50.
Do not forget that the sun is active in autumn and spring, and even on clear winter days. If you wear lenses, make sure they also have a high UV protection class.
The main period of solar activity in our latitudes: from 10 am to 4 pm. At this time, the sun’s rays fall at the most dangerous angle for us, and the eyes receive the most ultraviolet radiation. In Asia and Africa, this is the time interval between 7–8 am and 5–6 pm.
Of course, it is difficult to persuade very young children to wear dark glasses. But during the period of solar activity, you can use panamas, hats, caps with wide brim that protect your eyes from direct sunlight. During the period of maximum activity of the sun, avoid long walks – this is dangerous not only for the eyes, but also for the skin.
Many people wear glasses on the street and while walking, but at the beach they take them off and sunbathe just by closing their eyes. This is a mistake: the sun’s rays easily penetrate through loosely closed eyelids, causing harm. Therefore, be sure to use panama hats, glasses or other sun protection devices.
The higher above sea level you are, the stronger the harmful rays of the sun affect – this is always worth remembering when traveling at any time of the year. Even in spring and winter, the sun is more active in the mountains than in the plains and lowlands. Every 200–300 m above sea level, the risk of retinal burns increases by 1–2%.
Not only surfers and swimmers face the danger of getting burned from the water, but also fishing enthusiasts, people relaxing on the banks of a river or lake in clear sunny weather, and visitors to outdoor pools. Part of the UV radiation penetrates clouds even on cloudy days, so always wear eye protection when you are near water.
A nutritious and nutritious diet is essential to maintaining eye health. It should have enough carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin – these substances help in the synthesis of vitamin A and protective antioxidant compounds. They neutralize harmful free radicals formed in tissues under the influence of UV rays. Before the holiday season, in agreement with the doctor, you can additionally take complexes with vitamins A, C and group B. They can be supplemented by dishes with carrots and vegetable oils, egg yolk, cheeses, liver, blueberries and currants, pumpkin.