No matter what color your eyes are, you can receive intense damage from the sun if you are subjected to it too much without sun glasses. Some of the kinds of eye damage that you can receive from UV rays include cataracts, temporary vision loss, and even macular degeneration. To protect yourself from these problems, you should wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV rays. Glasses that wrap around your eyes and that are close fitting are especially good choices.
Actually, the color of your eye is important in regards to sun damage, and DARKER eyes have an increased risk of developing cataracts, not lighter eyes. The darker the eyes, the greater the risk.
Cataracts aren’t necessarily caused by over exposure to the sun, but can be causing factor. It may be true that darker eyes are more likely to develop cataracts, but those with lighter iris colors have been found to have a higher prevalence of age-related macular degeneration than those with darker; and an increased risk of uveal melanoma has been found in those with blue, green, or grey iris colors. People with light colored eyes are particularly vulnerable as they are more susceptible to retinal damage and cataracts as a result of overexposure to the sun. In general, people with lighter skin and, especially, those with blue eyes are very sensitive to ultraviolet light. Damage to their eyes can be faster and more severe. If you are still unsure, be sure to visit your optometrist
Let me summarize, because people are getting part of the answer correct. Color of eyes may be a factor, but it isn’t one of the important factors that everyone should pay attention to. My references are the Mayo Clinic and my hospital, which pointed out a factor that’s often overlooked.
The causes of cataracts can be many, including smoking, drinking, being overweight, poor diet, high blood pressure … and … UV rays from the sun. But it’s UV-B rays that are the problem, not UV-A, which is a different wavelength. So many sunglasses just make seeing easier, they don’t protect eyes from damage.
The people mentioning Ray-Ban are correct that all Ray-Ban glasses have 100% protection from both types of UV light coming through the lenses. The problem, if you look at the page cited below, is that some are tiny fashionable lenses that don’t protect from light coming in through the sides. Yes, true, that is a small portion of the light coming into your eyes, but the ones that are more “wrap around” are going to catch even much of those! I.e., the ones where you can’t easily see natural light — even by looking to the side — are slightly better.
I am developing cataracts, my hospital said to get sunglasses that effectively stop ALL UV-B rays. They wrap up, down, and to the sides. They fit over other glasses, too, so the expense is only about $50. No, they are not a great fashion statement, but no one’s laughed at me yet. (And I do wear expensive clothes.)
So if you are high-risk, and especially if your eye doctor says you are developing cataracts, then avoid the risk factors, and get proper sunglasses that mask out almost all the unfiltered natural sunlight.
The source from the Mayo Clinic is definitive (it can also be hard to find, so bookmark it!)
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