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Are UV rays more harmful during cloudy weather?

Since UV rays get scattered more in cloudy weather, they can damage the eyes. Read on

UV Rays

Summer is here and with it is a barrage of ultraviolet (UV) rays based issues. While most adults wear sunglasses if they are out in the sun, when it comes to the kids, they tend to overlook its importance.

A substantial number of people are unaware of the harms that UV exposure can cause. We’ve compiled a list of basic questions that you might have concerning eye care of your child, and have had them answered by an expert optometrist.

Why do children need sunglasses?

Though this generation is a lot into gadgets and online games, nothing beats the thrill of playing outdoors. This also means that they spend more time under the sun. So clearly, it is advisable to wear sunglasses for protection from the UV rays.

What are the harms of UV rays on eyes?

Exposure to sunlight can lead to UV rays affecting the eyes. In the long run, it can lead to conditions like pterygium, pinguecula, cataract, photo keratitis, and macular degeneration. These might sound like conditions affecting one as their age advances.

However, a condition like photo keratitis can be misunderstood as tired eyes since the symptoms show up in the evenings similar to that of sore eyes.

Are sunglasses to be worn only in the hot sun?

The eye has its natural protecting mechanism by stopping some percentage of UV rays. However it is not auto-equipped to resist the strong, harmful rays. Hence, while it is important to wear sunglasses when out in the sun, it is more important during the cloudy weather. The UV rays get scattered more in cloudy atmosphere.

How to select the sunglasses for kids?

One should choose sunglasses, which are high impact-resistance lenses. Spring hinges would help in reducing the pressure on the side shafts of the goggles or goggles with elastic band would be comfortable.

Also, wearing a wide-brimmed hat along with the sunglasses would protect the kid from exposure to the UV rays.

Does the colour of the sunglass determine the level of UV protection?

No, it doesn’t. However, the lens material and the coatings definitely does determine. Look for the mark UVA and UVB block label on the sunglasses. Also, polarized lenses are the best to cut the glare from surfaces of grass, sand, concrete roads, and water.

How can I provide UV protection to my child who already wears spectacles?

There are prescription sunglasses available in the market to give vision coupled with the comfort of shades.

Most importantly, what needs to be kept in mind is that improper selection of sunglasses may lead to poor optical quality, poor visual hygiene, and physical discomfort.

So this summer, ensure pleasurable vision of your child by providing them the appropriate sunglasses. After all, it’s not just another accessory.


Srikanth M, is a practicing optometrist at L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. He has also conducted workshops for the Optometrists and Opticians of Optical chain and is a guest faculty for India Vision Institute.

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