We’re all aware of the harmful effects of tanning, whether in a tanning bed or outside at the beach. If you can recall any of your high school classes, the damage comes from UVA and UVB rays. While sunburns can heal, the damage from these rays can extend beyond sunburns. Both skin cancer and vision problems/diseases can be ignited through UVA and UVB rays. Surprisingly to some, you can run into issues without being on the beach, or even sitting outside. One of the most overlooked areas of UV ray exposure, is in your car! To fully grasp the risks and consequences of both rays, let’s take a look what they cause, and what you can do to protect your eyes and your skin.
What Are They, Actually?
You may have heard about UVA or UVB rays, or both- but what are they, actually? Let us explain. UV rays are a part of the sun’s solar radiation. There are three types of UV rays, though UV-C end up being absorbed the ozone layer of the earth and doesn’t cause any harm. UVA and UVB rays, however, pose threats that can be both short- and long-term issues.
What Does it Do?
UVA: These rays can harm your central vision. At the back of your eye is a piece called the macula, which UVA rays will damage.
UVB: Often times these rays aren’t talked about as often as UVA, but actually cause more harm than the other. Your lens and cornea (located at the front on your eye), end up absorbs a majority of the UVB rays.
What Diseases Do They Cause?
As referenced above, UVA rays affect the macula, which can lead to Macular Degeneration, or AMD. This degeneration occurs over time and is the number one cause of age-related blindness. The longer and more frequent exposure to UVA rays, the more likely you are to develop AMD.
Keratitis: Also referred to as a corneal sunburn, this can occur from repetitive, high-exposure to in the UVB rays from the sun, or the UVB rays in tanning beds. This is the big reason purchasing a pair of sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection is a necessity. Corneal sunburn can be extremely painful and can even result in temporary vision loss. Did you know that 99% of the radiation from UV rays is absorbed by the front of your eyes? Don’t make the mistake to leave them uncovered in the sun.
Cataracts: You may have heard of cataracts and pictured it only being a condition for those who are older. On the contrary, all it takes to ignite cataracts is prolonged UV ray exposure. There are multiple types of cataracts, and are mostly a result of UVB exposure. An estimated 10% of cataracts are caused by UV exposure alone.
Skin Cancer: Never underestimate the effects of a sunburn or long-term sun exposure to your skin. Like we alluded to earlier, you don’t have to be in direct sunlight to reap the consequences of UVA and UVB rays on your skin. Skin cancer is the most common cancers in the world today. This includes basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The type of skin cancer contracted will depend on the kind of exposure you have. A study is being done to identify the direct relation of cumulative sun exposure and melanoma. This means there is a specific danger to developing melanoma by having intermittent, intense time frames of sun exposure.
Premature Skin Aging: Not nearly as dangerous, though aesthetically can be disappointing. Frequent exposure can cause early wrinkling, aging spots, dryness, loss of elasticity, and mottled pigmentation. Once these damages occur (typically in the first 20 years of life), there are virtually irreversible.
When you’re young, it’s difficult to imagine yourself being prone to any serious disease down the road. Though it’s imperative to understand that people of all ages are at risk for any of these diseases or conditions- yes, even children. Obviously, if you have a lifestyle that requires you to be exposed to the sun more often, your risk is greater than someone who has a desk job or enjoys indoor activities. The best way to lower your risk is to lower your exposure to these harmful rays.
Did you know by tinting your windows you can reduce your risk of developing these diseases? It’s likely you spend a good amount of time in your car each day, and if so, you are putting yourself at risk to the exposure of UVA and UVB rays. Even if you have quality sunglasses, your skin can still reap the consequences of premature aging and other UV ray exposure diseases, and it takes less than you think!
At Accutint, we specialize in mitigating your exposure to the harmful UV rays through our high quality window tinting. With over a decade of experience and a full lifetime warranty on all tinting work, you’ll never question your tinting service with us. Nashville can have some of the hottest days- don’t let you, or your car suffer. Window tinting will also lower the interior temperature of your car, and protect the color from fading. We love what we do! Contact Accutint today and learn more about our other services, including home tinting, office tinting, and paint protection. Check out Nashville’s Top Rated Local tinting company!