Most people are aware that it’s important to protect your eyes on a sunny day. But the sun doesn’t have to be shining for harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays to potentially damage your eyes (and the skin around them.) Don’t let the clouds fool you - UV Rays can reflect off of sand, water, snow, and buildings - even on the most overcast day. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your everyday sunglasses lenses are equipped with a UV coating.

Some of the scarier effects of prolonged exposure to UV rays include cancer of the eyes and eyelids, damage to your cornea and retina, cataracts, and, pterygium (an abnormal growth on the surface of the eye) and photokeratitis (sunburn of the eye). UV overexposure has also been linked with macular degeneration.

Some of these conditions are not treatable, so prevention is the most important weapon we have to fight against them. UV damage is culmulative through your lifetime, so it is especially important to make sure children and teenagers are adequately protected. Around 1/4 of damage to our eyes occurs before we turn 18. For kids, increased periods outdoors in summer months are prime time for heightened UV exposure. And for adults, activities like competing in marathons, with the associated hours of training, can be a danger zone.