The sun releases energy (radiation) in many forms. The sunlight we see is one form. The heat we feel from the sun is another. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, a third type, are also invisible to the eye. UV rays cause sunburn. They can also damage your eyes and hurt your vision.

How Can UV Rays Damage Your Eyes?

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B. Over time, the effects of UV rays may help cause a number of eye problems. 

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How to Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays

You can protect your eyes from UV rays in two important ways: Know the dangers of UV rays. Wear proper eye protection and hats that block UV rays. UV rays can come from many directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they are also reflected from the ground, from water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces. 

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Who's at Risk for Eye Damage from the Sun

Yes, everyone (including children) is at risk for eye damage from UV radiation that can lead to vision loss. Any factor that increases the amount of time you spend in the sun will increase your risk. People who work or play in the sun for long periods of time are at the greatest risk.

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Choosing UV Protection

Sunglasses help you in two important ways. They filter light and they protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Mounting evidence shows that exposure to UV rays can damage your eyes. Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration or skin cancer around the eyelids. 

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UV Protection and Eye Safety

When you or your children play outdoor sports or work outside, you should think about both UV protection and proper safety eyewear. 

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