Plastic glasses block UV light

UV radiation: why many sunglasses do more harm than good

It is a truism that too much sunlight can be harmful. But while many sun lovers now take the advice of doctors into account and protect their skin with sun cream, they neglect their most important sensory organ, the eyes.

Because only very few people are really aware of how important it is to protect the eyes from too much sunlight. Our eyes are exposed to more sun stress than ever before, as we spend more and more leisure time and holidays on the beach, at sea, in the mountains or other sunny climes.

Dangerous: Cheap sunglasses offer little UV protection

In addition to shade, sunglasses are the best protection for the eyes. However, there are thousands of models in many colors and shapes and, depending on the model, there are serious differences in light protection.

Experts warn that wearing the wrong glasses will damage your eyes. You therefore advise not only to consider fashion considerations when buying, but above all to pay attention to UV protection.

Very inexpensive sunglasses that are sold in drugstores, supermarkets and discount stores often only offer dubious light protection, which can even deteriorate over time.

Dark glasses do not guarantee light protection

It is a widespread misconception that glasses protect against harmful rays the better the darker they are, warns the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists in Germany (BVA). The tint of the lenses says nothing about the UV protection. Only glasses with an integrated UV filter offer good light protection.

Dark glasses without an integrated UV filter are also tricky because they only absorb visible light and therefore only offer glare protection. In doing so, they override an important protective mechanism, namely that the pupils automatically narrow in bright sunlight so that fewer UV rays penetrate the eye.

Without a UV filter, dark glasses even cause the pupils to dilate and thus more harmful UV rays reach the eye than if you weren't wearing glasses at all. A painful inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea can result.

This is characterized by red, watery and burning eyes as well as pain and a strong sensitivity to glare. Symptoms develop six to eight hours after sun exposure. As a rule, however, permanent damage is not to be expected.

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