Many people wear sunglasses in Cape Cod on bright sunny days to protect their eyes against damaging UV rays, but did you know that your eyes can still get sunburned on cloudy days? It’s true. Just because there’s cloud cover doesn’t mean the sun is totally blocked from reaching you. What’s more is that science may have discovered that UV rays are just as strong, or stronger, on cloudy days.
So, what are UV rays? Are UV rays really more damaging when clouds are out? The truth is, the sun’s rays can cause damage year-round. That means you need to take steps to protect your eyes not just on sunny summer days.
About UV rays
UV light, also known as ultraviolet light, is basically electromagnetic radiation—a light we cannot see. Although this type of light is invisible, it can have a negative effect on your eyes, causing sunburns to eyeballs and temporary blindness. The UV light that’s produced by the sun is naturally occurring, and is either UV-A (more common) or UV-B (more potent). UV-B is the type of light that is responsible for vitamin D production, but it’s also the cause of nasty sunburns.
UV rays are strong even on cloudy days
Depending on where you are, the time of year and the time of day, UV rays can actually be stronger on overcast days than on sunny days. When it comes to partly cloudy skies, something can happen that’s called the broken-cloud effect. This causes higher UV light levels, even higher than what would come through on clear sky days. It’s said that this occurs for a couple reasons: either UV rays are bouncing off and reflecting off the sides of dense clouds, or the UV rays are being redirected while passing through fine clouds. However, natural haze and haze from pollution can also redistribute UV radiation.
Yes, your eyes need protection
You may be less likely to take precautionary measures against the sun when clouds are out—however, this can put your eyes at risk of damage. Some eyeball sunburns are called ultraviolet keratitis, also known as photokeratitis. This occurs when you get a sunburn on the surface epithelium of the cornea. The bottom line is that even overcast days can let UV rays through clouds, causing a variety of damage to your eyes.
So, what should you do to protect your eyes on cloudy days? It’s recommended that you do what you’d do on sunny, cloudless days, because UV rays can still pass through clouds and damage your eyes. Don’t look directly at certain areas of the sky, shield your eyes with a brimmed hat and wear sunglasses in Cape Cod that are not too dark. Also, keep in mind that UV rays can reflect off sand, water and fresh snow.
For the largest selection of prescription and fashionable sunglasses in Cape Cod, look no further than the display cases at Bayview Optometrics. Professional eye care experts are available to answer your questions and help you find the best eyewear to preserve your vision. Visit our office today!