The sun releases its rays in different forms - heat, light and UV rays. UV rays are invisible to the human eye. However, they can cause sunburn or impaired visual acuity.
UV rays are of two types - UV-A and UV-B. Over time, they can cause various visual changes. UV-A rays could damage central vision by affecting a part of the retina at the back of the eye called the macula.
UV-B rays are absorbed by the front part of the eye - the cornea and lens. However, in some cases they could cause even more serious eye damage than UV-A rays.
One could protect their eyes by wearing appropriate safety glasses and hats that block UV rays.
For protection, it is not enough to simply not look in the direction of the sun, as UV rays could come from many directions. They are emitted directly from the sun, but are also reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand, and other bright surfaces.
Experts recommend wearing wide-brimmed hats, which could help block half of the UV rays that hit the eyes from above or around the glasses.
Glasses with special lenses to block UV rays provide the greatest protection. All types of glasses, including prescription and over-the-counter glasses, contact lenses, and more, must absorb UV-A and UV-B rays. For UV protection in everyday eyewear, there are several options such as UV-blocking materials, coatings and photochromic lenses.
Wearing this kind of protective products does not interfere with people's clear vision.
This applies to those who spend long hours in the sun, with certain retinal disorders, patients who have undergone cataract surgery, unless the implanted lens absorbs UV rays.
People who take certain medications such as tetracycline, sulfates, birth control medications, diuretics, and tranquilizers that increase the sensitivity of the eyes to light are also at high risk of sun damage.