Believe it or not, sunglasses can be considered a form of protective eyewear. They protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
UV rays are an invisible part of the sun’s radiation spectrum. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is no problem as it is absorbed by the atmosphere. UVA rays are absorbed by the lens of the eye, but there is no documented evidence of any resulting disease because of this. UVB radiation, though, is of greater concern to the eyes.
UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and can damage the eyes. When combined with cold wind and snow, UVB rays cause snow blindness, a temporary but painful condition of corneal inflammation. Some experts also believe that UVB radiation may play a part in cataract formation.
To protect your eyes from these UV rays, I recommend you wear a pair of quality sunglasses. Good sunglasses usually have a label that states how much UV light they’ll block. To provide the best protection for your eyes, look for sunglasses that block at least 98% of the UVA and UVB rays.