People with light-colored eyes more susceptible to UV rays
Posted by AE/Contributor, Jun 26, 2014
People with light-colored eyes have much less melanin, which is a pigment that helps protect your eyes from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. That makes it extremely important for them to protect their eyes with sunglasses.
Extra protection can come from wraparound sunglasses or sunglasses with side pieces big enough to block the sun from most angles. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat also can help, because it will shield your face from the sun.
Wear sunglasses even on cloudy days. Water, sand, and pavement reflect UV rays, increasing the amount reaching your eyes.
Exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays can cause both temporary and permanent problems, such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, skin cancer near your eyes and Photokeratitis, which is sunburn of the cornea. Exposure UV rays over time leads to substantial risk of eye damage.
The No. 1 safeguard for people with light-colored eyes is sunglasses that absorb UVA and UVB rays. We recommend that all individuals – especially those with light-colored eyes – wear 100 percent UV-safe sunglasses.
You need sunglasses that that have UV absorption up to 400 nanometers and meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) UV requirements. That means the lenses have been treated with the protective coating and block at least 99 percent of UV rays from reaching your eyes. It should say one or the other on the sunglasses. Dark lenses do not mean more protection. You have to look for the rating.