Sunlight: What solutions for what dangers?

5 min read | 23/04/2021

What are the risks associated with sunlight?

While it is common knowledge that looking directly at the sun is very dangerous, it should also be noted that sunlight also presents dangers to the eyes on a daily basis.

What are the risks associated with sunlight? Why can the vision be deteriorated over time? How to protect your eyes? Nooz answers for you.

Understanding UV and its impact on the eyes also means knowing that UVA rays (380mm) and 10% of UVB rays (315mm) enter the cornea, the iris and the pupil to the lens, and can even damage the retina and the optic nerve.

What are the harmful effects of sunlight on the eyes?

Ultraviolet light (also known as UV) can cause irreversible damage to the skin (sunburn, burns, etc.) but also to the eyes.

It is not uncommon to hear about a limited "sun capital" for our eyes. Indeed, this implies that they can withstand a certain amount of UV, in theory. As soon as this capital is exhausted, the eye becomes fragile. The tissues can then be damaged. Of course, the biological reality is more complex than that.

But UV rays are not the only problem with sunlight: infrared rays (IR) also have consequences. They disperse the sun's heat, which leads to heating and sometimes even burning of the eyelids, in addition to drying out the cornea. Visual fatigue cannot be excluded either.

The effects of UV and IR rays on the eyes are numerous and even worse, cumulative. Unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to ophthalmic problems and pathologies: cataract, melanoma, photoconjunctivitis...

Some conditions can be serious and above all, irreparable.

Photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis

Unprotected and repeated exposure of the eyes to the sun's ultraviolet rays also leads to another sun-related condition: photokeratitis. It is an inflammation of the cornea. Photoconjunctivitis is another similar but distinct inflammation, as it involves the conjunctiva.

Often caught at high altitudes, while skiing or mountaineering for example, these inflammations burn the corneal surface of the eye like a sunburn. Between loss of visual acuity, pain, watering and redness, the symptoms can be difficult to live with for several days.

Pterygium, malignant eye tumor... Other consequences of excessive sun exposure that can affect the eyes. The question that arises is therefore about protection: how to effectively, durably and if possible easily protect your eyes from sunlight?


Cataract

The cataract is another eye condition that is not exclusively due to the sun, but is related to it. It is a deterioration of the crystalline lens, which becomes opaque in a progressive way. The vision then decreases little by little, while involving a discomfort in front of luminous sources.

Cataract can lead to total blindness and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 20% of the cases are directly linked to repeated exposure to the sun.


Melanoma of the eye

The sun is also involved in eye melanoma and ocular uveal melanoma, cancers of the uvea. Both diseases are often related to overexposure to the sun.

Several symptoms are common to other diseases of the same type, such as decreased visual acuity, flashes or blotchiness in the vision. For the different types of eye melanoma, older people and those with light colored eyes are more prone to it.


How to effectively protect the eyes from the sun?


You wouldn't think of going out in the blazing sun for long periods without sunscreen, so why not protect your eyes? Sunlight is almost as dangerous to the skin as it is to the eye, no matter how much sunlight you get.

Given the cumulative and sometimes irreversible effects of the sun's harmful short- and long-term rays on the eyes, protecting yourself even for short-term exposures is not incidental.

Simple but effective solutions to fight against the harmful effects of the sun

  1. Get under an awning or sunshade to shield the sun rather than expose yourself.

  2. Avoid exposure to the sun during the hottest hours, especially in summer

  3. Simple but effective: choose shade over prolonged sun exposure

  4. Protect children with a large hat and appropriate eyewear, as they are the most vulnerable to sunlight

  5. Wear appropriate sunglasses with a good sun protection factor for the lenses.

Indicators to consider when choosing your sunglasses:

  • 100% UVA - UVB

  • European certification

  • Polarized lenses

  • Protection index (Cat 1 to 4)


  • Lens treatments (anti-scratch, anti-reflective, anti-fog...)

  • Lenses polarization

Nooz sunglasses

In order to offer an optimal protection to your eyes, we launched in June 2020 our sunglasses range. Nooz sunglasses combine lightness (they weigh only 12 grams), sturdiness (the screwless frames combined with ultra-thin nylon temples are flexible and unbreakable) and efficiency (our lenses are 100% UV Category 3: i.e., they are darkened for strong sunlight and absorb between 82% and 92% of visible light).

But that's not all: our sunglasses are also European standards certified and have anti-scratch and anti-reflective treatments. They are also polarized, which means they provide optimized vision in the sun so that the sun's rays reflected on a flat surface do not disturb your vision. A sheet of material acts as a special filter to absorb reflections. This integrated filter provides great comfort of vision, in addition to perfectly protecting your eyes. It avoids glare, offers a clearer vision and confers a better comfort.


As if that wasn't enough, Nooz sunglasses are protected by their ultra-flat case, which fits in every pocket with its 17 millimeter size.

They are also made to fit both men and women.


Protecting yourself from sunlight is a priority: the effects of overexposure can be serious in the long run, but also in the short one. Fortunately, protecting your eyes from the sun's UV and IR rays is quite simple.



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