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May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month

With spring in full swing and sunny skies ahead, here’s what you should know about your eyes and Ultraviolet (UV) rays.  UV radiation consists of three bands of invisible light, UVA, UVB and UVC.  UVA – These rays generally aren’t considered harmful as there is no documented disorders of the human eye from UVA.  However, the effect of UVA on the eyes remains a much debated and researched topic.  UVB – Notorious for burning the skin and causing damage to the eyes, these rays need to be blocked by sunglasses and sunscreen.  There is also some research suggesting exposure to UVB over many years can increase our risk for cataracts, pinguecula, and macular degeneration.  UVC – These rays are absorbed by the upper atmosphere and do not damage our eyes.  Also important to know is that for every 1,000 feet above sea level, our ultraviolet exposure increases approximately 4%.  Therefore, living in Boulder County, we have an additional 22% more exposure to ultraviolet radiation . . . all the more reason to protect our eyes with a quality pair of sunglasses.