The WHO and the EPA further suggest protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation to prevent eye damage. The WHO has developed a UV index to indicate when the risk of damaging rays are highest. The UV index refers to the level of UV radiation present under different conditions. For example, the UV index is higher when you are around a reflective surface such as water or snow than when you are surrounded by grass and soil where the sunlight is absorbed and not reflected. For the United States, The UV Index scale is used and conforms with international guidelines for UVI reporting established by the World Health Organization.
2 or less: Low
A UV Index reading of 2 or less means low danger from the sun’s UV rays for the average person:
* Wear sunglasses on bright days. In winter, reflection off snow can nearly double UV strength.
* If you burn easily, cover up and use sunscreen.
Look Out Below
Snow and water can reflect the sun’s rays. Skiers and swimmers should take special care. Wear sunglasses or goggles, and apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Remember to protect areas that could be exposed to UV rays by the sun’s reflection, including under the chin and nose.
3 – 5: Moderate
A UV Index reading of 3 to 5 means moderate risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.
* Take precautions when outdoors, such as covering up.
* Stay in shade around the midday when the sun will be the strongest.
Me and My Shadow
An easy way to tell how much UV exposure you are getting is to look for your shadow:
* If your shadow is taller than you are (in the early morning and late afternoon), your UV exposure is likely to be low.
* If your shadow is shorter than you are (around midday), you are being exposed to high levels of UV radiation. Seek shade and protect your skin and eyes.
6 – 7: High
A UV Index reading of 6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Apply a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15. Wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
* Protection against sunburn is needed.
* Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
* Cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.
Made in the Shades
Wearing sunglasses protects the lids of your eyes as well as the lens.
8 – 10: Very High
A UV Index reading of 8 to 10 means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Minimize sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Protect yourself by liberally applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Wear protective clothing and sunglasses to protect the eyes.
* Take extra precautions. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly.
* Minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Otherwise, seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.
Stay in the Game
Be careful during routine outdoor activities such as gardening or playing sports. Remember that UV exposure is especially strong if you are working or playing between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Don’t forget that spectators, as well as participants, need to wear sunscreen and eye protection to avoid too much sun.
A UV Index reading of 11 or higher means extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Try to avoid sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 liberally every 2 hours.
* Take all precautions. Unprotected skin can burn in minutes. Beachgoers should know that white sand and other bright surfaces reflect UV and will increase UV exposure.
* Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
* Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.
Beat the Heat
It is possible to go outside when the UV Index is 11 or higher. Make sure you always seek shade, wear a hat, cover up, wear 99-100% UV-blocking sunglasses, and use sunscreen. Or you can opt to stay indoors and take the opportunity to relax with a good book rather than risk dangerous levels of sun exposure.
Symptoms of over-exposure to UV radiation include puffiness and redness (photoconjunctivitis), and /or darkened, spotty vision. While normal vision usually returns if the person does not repeatedly experience UV exposure, permanent damage can be done by repeated or prolonged exposure.
How Can You Protect Your Eyes?
Your vision is precious, so it’s worth it to take some steps toward preventing eye damage from the sun. Here are some precautions you can take.
* Limit your time in the sun during its brightest hours, which is from approximately 11am to 2pm. The time of year, geographical location, and terrain will affect when the brightest light occurs in your area.
* If there is shade available, spend your outdoor time in it as much as possible.
* Sunglasses are a basic but important precaution. Sunglasses with side panels are the most effective. If you have prescription glasses, consider clip-on sunglasses or sunglasses that can be placed over your prescription lenses.
* Don’t go to the tanning salon; it is not good for your skin or your eyes, and you will save money if you change your habits. Maybe you can use the money you save to buy some high-quality sunglasses!
* Wear hats with wide brims that shade your eyes.
* Practice good nutrition and eat a healthy diet. This is good advice for maintaining general health, but it can also make the difference between healthy and diseased eyes. Foods high in lutein, such as blueberries, strawberries, and other berries are good for the eyes. Carrots, which their high vitamin A content, are the traditional food for the eyes for a reason. Eat such foods daily to keep your eyes healthy.
* Don’t look directly at the sun with unprotected eyes at any time of day for any reason. Yes, sunrises and sunsets can be beautiful; but the sun can come up from the horizon or out from behind clouds suddenly. Wear sunglasses to view sunrises or sunsets, and only when the sun itself is below the horizon. Do not ever view a solar eclipse without proper eye protection, and never look directly at the sun during the day.
We hope that UV index scale, sun exposure and cataracts how to prevent Eyes damage and protect your Eyes helps your eyesight for many years to come!