The majority of energy that is produced by U.V. light is absorbed by the atmosphere. What is left over can have a damaging effect to the body with long term exposure.  Many people who have enjoyed a wonderful Connecticut sunny day have felt the effects of UV light damage with a classic sunburn on their skin.  A sunburn is a mild form of damage to your skin but long term exposure can result in skin cancer.  It does not have to be a bright sunny day for you to be exposed to UV light.  Many people can get sunburned when the day is overcast.  That is why it is important to always wear sunscreen when you are outdoors no matter the conditions.  Specific conditions that occur in the eyes due to excessive U.V. light exposure include cataracts, pterygium, pinguecula, photokeratitis, or retinopathy.

You put sunscreen on to protect your skin, but how can you protect your eyes? In essence, you can put “sunscreen” on by making sure you wear eyewear with a U.V. protective coating. Sunglasses would be the example most people think of but it is important that your clear pair of glasses have a U.V. protective coating as well.  Also, not all sunglasses are made with a U.V. protective coating.  Many department store sunglasses only have a mild tint to the lens and do not include the coating. A U.V. protective coating is clear so you cannot see if it is on your lenses or not.  Always check the tag on the sunglass frames as the companies are required to include if the glasses are U.V. protected.  There are some eyeglass lens materials that are manufactured with this coating on it all ready including polycarbonate lens material. When you talk to your optician about making glasses for you, make sure you ask about including a U.V. protective coating on each lens. Please schedule an appointment to get your eyes examined and purchase sun protective eyewear today by calling our optical department at (860) 233-2020.

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