Those most at risk of sun-related eye problems are those who spend long hours in the sun, have had cataract surgery or certain retina disorders, or are on such medications as tetracycline, sulfa drugs, diuretics or tranquilizers that increase the eye’s sensitivity to light.
There are two types of UV radiation: UV-A, which has lower energy and penetrates deep into the eye, with the potential to injure the macula – the part of the retina responsible for sight in the center field of vision; and UV-B, which tends to be more dangerous and is absorbed by the cornea and lens of the eye and can damage those tissues.
When out in the sun, regardless of the time of year, wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap and appropriate UV-rated sunglasses. Wrap-around sunglasses are the best because they protect your eyes and the skin around them.
All types of eyewear, including prescription and non-prescription glasses, contact lenses and lens implants, should absorb UV-A and UV-B rays. For UV protection in everyday eyewear, there are several options like UV-blocking lens materials, coatings and photochromic lenses.
As a rule when choosing sunglasses, make sure they reduce glare, filter out 99 to 100 percent of UV rays and are comfortable to wear. Only buy sunglasses that provide a clear statement about how much UV radiation is blocked.