There are 3 types of ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by the sun: UVA, UVB, UVC.
UVC light – the most damaging and dangerous UV light … except that fortunately, it is completely blocked by Earth’s ozone layer. #earthforthewin
UVB light – also fairly dangerous. Most UVB light is blocked by the earth’s ozone, but the portion that does get through contributes to (premature) skin aging and skin cancers in the long-run, and skin tanning and burning short-term.
UVA light – makes up about 95% of the UV exposure we encounter. UVA penetrates the skin and causes tanning and skin cancers, but also penetrates through the eye’s cornea, to the lens and retina inside.
The skin around our eyes is actually the thinnest in the body, and regardless of how vigilant we are with sunscreen, we don’t often apply it to our lids. Wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection will block UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the lenses of the sunglasses, protecting the skin and eyes.
Look out for our next few installments as we learn more about the sun and the eyes, sunglasses and other options to protect our eyes from UV light.
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