If you like hiking, then you’ve probably given plenty of thought about the right footwear, lightweight gears, and even suitable clothing. But as you get ready for comfort and protection before you go on the trail, do not forget that you have to protect your eyes, too. Spending some time in the great outdoors is much better when you go on a hike. However, too much exposure to sand, dirt, sun, and other potential dangers could leave your eyes dry and blurry along the way. That’s why we are here to provide you with some advice on how to protect your eyes while you’re on a hike.
Impacts of the Sun to Your Eyes
We wear sunglasses for several reasons, such as protecting our eyes from harmful UV rays and glare. Most of us are aware of the sun’s harmful UV rays. And when you’re exposed to these harmful rays for a long time, it can lead to some severe problems such as macular degeneration, corneal sunburn, and cataracts.
UV rays are the ultraviolet rays that are emitted from the sun. Some wavelengths of UV rays are visible to the human eye, but the harmful UV rays are the ones that you don’t see. Which makes the UV rays a sort of stealthy, silent light ray that can cause severe damage to your skin and eyes over time. There are a total of three UV light spectrum, namely the lower spectrum, middle spectrum, and upper spectrum.
The lower spectrum mostly consists of UVA rays, which is the most eminent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The middle spectrum is the one that consists of the UVB rays, which are more harmful than UVA rays. Lastly, the upper spectrum is the one that consists of UVC rays which are considered as the most harmful of the sun’s UV light.
How Can You Protect Your Eyes from the Sun While Hiking?
Now that you know the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, it’s time to find out how are you going to protect your eyes from the sun while you are hiking. Sunglasses, as well as fashion sunglasses, are classified into five categories. These categories are all according to their performance and suitability for use in particular conditions. These categories are:
- Lens Category 0 or Fashion spectacles: These are not considered sunglasses. Because they have a small capability to reduce sun glare which means they provide limited or no protection from UV rays.
- Lens Category 1: Just like category zero lenses, these are not considered sunglasses because they provide limited UV protection and sun glare reduction. Glasses or spectacles that belong to this category are not suitable to use for an extended period of time under the sun.
- Lens Category 2: Spectacles that belong to this category are considered sunglasses. Because they can provide medium protection from the sun’s UV rays, and they can reduce the sun’s glare.
- Lens Category 3: The sunglasses that belong to this category provides a high level of glare reduction and protection against harmful UV rays.
- Lens category 4: Sunglasses in this category are considered purpose sunglasses because they provide maximum sun glare reduction and excellent UV protection. However, sunglasses that belong in category 4 are not to be used when driving even in the daytime.
To ensure the protection of your eyes when you’re hiking, we suggest that you choose a sunglass that belongs in the categories 2 to 4. Always make sure that it fits you comfortably because you’re going to be wearing it for some time. When purchasing sunglasses, make sure that you wear them for a few minutes to make sure that you will not experience any discomfort.
You don’t have to worry if you’re wearing prescription glasses, there are a lot of prescription sunglasses that are available in the market. It can provide you with excellent vision outdoors while protecting your eyes at the same time.
Wear a Broad Brimmed Hat
Aside from wearing the right quality sunglasses during your hike, don’t forget to wear broad-brimmed hats, too. These hats also reduce the sun’s impact on your head as well as your eyes. It can also help reduce the sun’s glare that can penetrate your sunglass.