Our Eyes and Ultraviolet Radiation
OUR UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
At ENKI, we are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of knowledge regarding Ultraviolet (UV) radiation and its potential harm to our eyes and skin. In our pursuit of understanding, we constantly explore new horizons, striving to develop top-notch eyewear that seamlessly combines protection with style. As UV-conscious designers, safeguarding your eyes and ensuring fashion-forward aesthetics are at the forefront of our creative process.
UNRAVELING ULTRAVIOLET (UV) RADIATION
The sun is a remarkable source of energy, transmitting various forms of radiation to Earth, including invisible ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and heat-generating infrared radiation. While sunlight is essential for vitamin D production, excessive exposure to UV radiation poses significant risks.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND UV RADIATION
Ultraviolet light is an invisible violet light, imperceptible to our eyes. It constitutes a form of radiation, characterized by the emission or transmission of energy in wave or high-speed particle forms. Primarily originating from the sun, UV radiation emerges as part of a nuclear reaction at its core. These energetic rays, alongside infrared rays, radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays, travel to Earth at the speed of light in the form of solar radiation, encompassing electric and magnetic fields.
UNDERSTANDING THE THREE UV WAVELENGTHS: UVA, UVB, AND UVC
UVC radiation is the most destructive to our skin, yet fortunately, it is mostly absorbed by the Earth's protective ozone layer.
UVB rays primarily impact the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), leading to sunburn, blisters, and potential skin cancer. For our eyes, it causes harm to the cornea and conjunctiva, resulting in the painful condition known as photokeratitis or "snow blindness." UVB is also associated with eye conditions like pinguecula and pterygium, commonly referred to as "surfer's eye."
UVA radiation constitutes approximately 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth. With a longer wavelength, it penetrates deep into the inner layers of the skin and eyes, passing through the cornea and affecting the lens and macula. Overexposure to UVA is linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, skin cancer, and premature aging changes like wrinkle formation (photoaging) around the eyes. Remarkably, UVA rays can even penetrate windows and cloud cover.
EYE CONDITIONS AND DISEASES LINKED TO UV DAMAGE
- Aging: Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays accelerates visible signs of aging, causing wrinkles and sunspots around the eyes. Squinting due to sunlight can deepen wrinkles and lead to crow's feet (photoaging).
- Photokeratitis (corneal sunburn): When overexposed to UV rays, our eyes can burn much like our skin. This leads to an inflamed cornea, resulting in the painful condition called photokeratitis, which can be caused by direct sun gazing or reflections from bright surfaces like snow, water, and sand. This condition is also known as "snow blindness."
- Cataracts: Prolonged exposure to UV rays increases the risk of developing cataracts, leading to clouded vision. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the onset of cataracts.
- Pinguecula and Pterygium (surfer's eye): Overexposure to UV light from the sun, wind, and dust can cause growths on the surface of the eyeball known as pinguecula and pterygium.
- Macular Degeneration: Although the impact of UV light on the macula is not entirely understood, evidence suggests that long-term sun exposure can damage the retinal tissue where the macula is located, leading to loss of central vision, blurred vision, and eventual blank spaces in sight.
- Skin Cancer Around the Eyes: UV exposure is a known cause of eyelid cancer, and those who spend significant time in the sun are at risk. Early detection and treatment are essential to prevent disfigurement, tissue damage, and potential blindness.
ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR EYES WITH UV-PROTECTIVE SUNGLASSES
Short-term UV exposure may cause discomfort, but long-term exposure can lead to irreversible damage to our eyes and vision. Look for lenses labelled UV400, ensuring they block 100% of harmful UV rays.
OUR UV PROTECTION SUNGLASSES TESTED TO AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS
At ENKI, all our eyewear is "UV400," offering protection against UV rays at the highest end of the spectrum, up to the 400-nanometer wavelength. Sunglasses with this level of protection block a broader range than the CE and British Standard models, providing the ultimate safeguard for your eyes. Moreover, our sunglasses undergo rigorous testing to meet the Australian Standard for Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles (AS/NZS 1067:2003), known as the most stringent standard globally. Sunglasses tested to these requirements offer superior UVR protection compared to those tested under international standards. When you wear ENKI sunglasses, you can rest assured that your eyes are receiving the highest level of protection against UVR damage.