UV Protection with Our Optometrists in Culpeper and King George, VA

The sun gives off light rays in every color of the spectrum, but those in the extreme ends are those that can be especially damaging. Ultraviolet light, also known as UV rays, can damage your eyes both in the short term and long term. At Eye Care of Virginia in Culpeper & King George, we recommend that all of our patients wear protective sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors, in order to protect from the damage that UVA and UVB rays can do.

How UV Rays Damage Your Eyes

UV light is broken up into three basic types. UVC rays are the strongest, but the ozone level blocks virtually all of it. The other two types cause concern for eyes, though.

UVB rays can be considered beneficial by some, as they’re the rays that cause the skin to produce melanin, creating a suntan. In higher doses, though, this reaction can cause skin cancer or cancer of the eyes, as well as snow blindness and growths inside the eyes.

Excess exposure to UVA rays has been connected to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as a host of lesser vision problems.

Risk Factors for UV Rays

The danger of damage from UV rays is present anywhere sunlight exists, but the danger is stronger in certain types of environments. In general, UV rays are more dangerous in:

  • Land nearer the equator. The farther from the equator you go, the weaker the UV rays are
  • High altitude–UV rays get stronger in higher altitudes
  • Certain times of the day. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the sun is at its highest and the greatest danger from UV rays exist
  • Wide open spaces. Both UVA and UVB rays are more dangerous in open spaces, especially when they include reflective surfaces such as snow, sand, or water

Contact Our Optometry Office for Protection

The only way to make sure your eyes are safe from the cumulative danger of UV rays is to wear protective sunglasses every time you leave the house. Our doctor of optometry, Dr. Press, recommends sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays in the environment. Choose sunglasses in a wrap-around style or one with oversized lenses for the best protection.

UV protection doesn’t depend on the color of the lens. You can choose sunglasses with yellow lenses or black ones, as long as they have the same UV protectant coating on them. This gives you the ability to choose sunglasses that fit with your style while protecting your eye health.

Give us a call at (540) 825-3937 and we’ll schedule an appointment for a sunglasses consultation today.