Why Your Eyes Need UV Protection

Eye protection is more than just wearing a fancy pair of designer sunglasses to block out the sunlight.

– Thembela Moyo

As a driver, you need to fulfill many requirements – often simultaneously. You need to react quickly, adhere to road signs, identify obstacles and make accurate assessments of the environment you are driving in. When driving, we rely on our eyes more than any of our other senses. Our eyes are constantly in motion.

One of the biggest threats to your eyesight is the harmful effects of Ultraviolet* (UV) rays. Nothing causes discomfort when driving quite like bright sunlight reflecting off the tarmac, or car windows. We are all familiar with the searing pain of the sun’s rays shining directly into our eyes. 

Not only do UV rays cause sunburn and wrinkles around the eyes, they also damage the retina which is why you should only wear sunglasses with UV protection.  

Brief exposure to UV rays normally leads to irritation of the cornea. This condition is also known as ‘sunburn of the eye’. Symptoms of irritated corneas include, an increase of tears, red eyes, pain and a gritty feeling int he eye (as if a particle of sand in in the eye).

Over time however, exposure to UV rays could lead to more serious afflictions such as retinal damage, cataracts, Ptergia (growths on the eye) and macular degeneration.

The importance of eye health in relation to driving, cannot be emphasized.

– Thembela Moyo

In the same way that we protect our skin from sun damage, it is also vitally important that we protect our eyes in order to maintain good eye health and sound vision.

It is important to point out that certified UV protective sunglasses do not necessarily equate to a pricier tag. There are several brands on the market that offer stylish sunglasses with the required UV protection at affordable prices. Cheap imitations can be temptingly priced but remember that they often do not have any UV protection at all. It is imperative that one prioritizes protective functionality over stylish looks.

The importance of eye health in relation to driving, cannot be emphasized.

Be kind to your eyes and look after them by choosing wisely because without healthy eyes you compromise your driving safety.

Remember, protection is key.

Ultraviolet radiation, a type of energy produced by the sun and some artificial sources*