How to Protect your Eyes from UV Light

  • 2019-05-07
  • sam

It’s summer and that means having fun in the sun! You may be cautious of sunburns on your skin, but have you heard of eye burns? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared July UV Safety Month to educate people about the dangers of UV light during this time of year when the sun is strongest. No need to be concerned however as the key to protecting your eyes from UV light comes down to just a few

When you break out the sunblock to protect your skin from sunburn, don’t forget to protect your corneas from getting burned as well. A severely burned cornea can cause temporary blindness. Consistent UV exposure can cause cumulative damage as well. Eye issues such as cataracts, eyelid skin cancer, and melanoma in the retina are all possible risks from sun-damaged eyes. When to be careful Most people know the sun’s rays are strongest during the summer, but there are other factors that determine UV strength.

• Latitude–The closer you are to the equator, the stronger the UV will be. There is less Ozone and atmosphere to filter the rays when the sun is more directly overhead. • Time of Day–The sun is strongest at “solar noon” which can vary depending on your time zone. So to be safe, consider the sun strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. • Ozone Level–The thicker the Ozone in an area, the more filtering it provides. There are some areas where the Ozone layer is thinned like Australia. If you plan on travelling abroad, check an Ozone map to see if the destination you’re going to is one of those areas. • Altitude–If you’re vacationing in the mountains this summer, be aware that higher altitudes have a thinner atmosphere so more UV light can get through. With every 100 meters above sea level, UV radiation levels increase by 10 to 12%. • Reflection–If you’re going to the beach or a lake on your vacation, be cautious of the sun’s reflection on the water and/or the sand. Sea foam can reflect UV by about 25% and dry sand about 15%. • Weather–Just because it may look cloudy outside, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to take precautions against UV light. Even though UV radiation levels are highest under cloudless skies, up to 80% of solar UV radiation can penetrate light cloud cover.

• Latitude–The closer you are to the equator, the stronger the UV will be. There is less Ozone and atmosphere to filter the rays when the sun is more directly overhead. • Time of Day–The sun is strongest at “solar noon” which can vary depending on your time zone. So to be safe, consider the sun strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. • Ozone Level–The thicker the Ozone in an area, the more filtering it provides. There are some areas where the Ozone layer is thinned like Australia. If you plan on travelling abroad, check an Ozone map to see if the destination you’re going to is one of those areas. • Altitude–If you’re vacationing in the mountains this summer, be aware that higher altitudes have a thinner atmosphere so more UV light can get through. With every 100 meters above sea level, UV radiation levels increase by 10 to 12%. • Reflection–If you’re going to the beach or a lake on your vacation, be cautious of the sun’s reflection on the water and/or the sand. Sea foam can reflect UV by about 25% and dry sand about 15%. • Weather–Just because it may look cloudy outside, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to take precautions against UV light. Even though UV radiation levels are highest under cloudless skies, up to 80% of solar UV radiation can penetrate light cloud cover.

Posted by sam
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