Protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light

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Ultraviolet rays from the sun are as dangerous for the eyes as they are for the skin.

And wearing sunglasses should not only provide immediate visual comfort, they should also protect the future health of your eyes. They have a dual protective role: to tone down brightness, but above all to filter out UV rays to the maximum.

Sunglasses are made to reduce luminous intensity and thus avoid dazzle and visual fatigue.

The most effective glasses are classed as either category C or D. However, there is another side to the darkening effect of sunglasses: because the eye receives less light, the pupil dilates as a reflex reaction, allowing more UV to enter.

So sunglasses must first and foremost act as filters and absorb virtually all UV rays.

The effect of UV is to make the lens in the eye less clear and transparent and this can eventually result in cataracts, which are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Wearing wide, wrap-round frames will help to prevent lateral light penetration, particularly due to reverberation.

Lastly, young eyes are fragile too and there is no lower age limit to the need for protection.

If your child is likely to have intense exposure to ultraviolet rays, you should see your optician and if there are no suitable off-the-shelf sunglasses available ask your optician to adapt some using appropriate frames.

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