Friday, August 19, 2016

UV Protection

Nice weather is always a great excuse to get outdoors and be active. However, you should always ensure that you are taking extra precautions to avoid heat-related illness and other health problems associated with overexposure to UV rays. Below is a look at some further insight and recommendations from Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician at Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

Firstly, it is important to know the difference between the types of UV radiation that exist. While UVC rays are the strongest, they are the least concerning as the ozone layer prevents them from reaching the earth. On the other hand, UVA and UVB rays are the most concerning and should be taken very seriously as they can cause irreparable damage. Whether you are exposed to natural sunlight or artificial ultraviolet rays, you are at risk of developing heat stroke, severe sunburn, skin damage, and even damage to your eyes.

Just as we would wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn, it is also important to protect the eyes; therefore, if you are going to be in an environment that leaves you exposed to ultraviolet rays, it is also recommended that you wear sunglasses. Both natural and artificial UV radiation can cause severe damage to the eyes, including damage to the cornea and the lens, as well as burning the frontal surface of the eyes (similar to a sunburn.) Failure to protect your eyes from UV rays can lead to both short-term as well as long-term, serious health effects, including a higher risk of developing cataracts, irreversible damage to the retina, chronic eye problems, and even skin cancer. 

When looking for a pair of sunglasses that will give your eyes enough protection, you should make sure they are free of any distortion and ensure that they screen out at least 75% (and up to 90%) of visible light, and block 99% of UVA and UVB radiation. Wrap-around frames will also provide you with increased protection.

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