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Heading Outdoors? Make Sure Your Eyes Are Protected

By Stephen R. Farris

Heading out to the beach, or planning on spending time outside in the bright sunshine? That beautiful sunshine is a great way to soak up some Vitamin D for your skin, however, keep in mind to use sunscreen for protection.

One more thing you should not forget is your eyes. Grab a pair of shades to help protect them from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

There are three types of harmful ultraviolet rays that emit from the sun, which could cause damage to your eyes (iris, lens, cornea, and retina), or even permanent eye loss. The three types are: 

  • UVA - Blue looking, long; responsible for tanning, but also linked to skin cancer.
  • UVB - Active, energetic and short, but can cause sunburn and skin cancer. The good news is that the majority of UVB rays are blocked by the earth's ozone layer before it gets to us. The bad news -- what does get through can still cause damage to your skin.
  • UVC - Short and completely blocked by earth's ozone layer.

But before grabbing a pair of cheap sunglasses at the checkout stand of your local convenience store, you might want to do some research first to make sure you are buying ones that meet the needs of your eyes.


These are the type of sunglasses as mentioned above. They're good for casual wear, fashionable, but only block 60 percent of visible light and 70 percent of UVB rays, and even less with UVA rays (20 percent).

General Purpose

The lens in this type of sunglasses are medium to dark, and are great for prolonged outdoor activities. They block 95 percent of UVB rays, 60 percent of UVA, and anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of visible light.

Special Purpose

These sunglasses have very dark lens and are perfect for the beach or snowy mountain ranges where light is brighter than normal. They block out a whopping 99 percent of UVB rays, 60 percent of UVA rays, and 97 percent of visible light. 

There you have it. A few choices to help protect your eyes. So now there's nothing stopping you from getting outdoors and enjoying the sun. Just make sure your skin is protected too.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Denton, Tex.

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