UV Protection: An Essential For Racquet Sports and Golf

UV Protection: An Essential For Racquet Sports and Golf

Heightened Risk for Racquet Sports Players & Golfers

As racquet sports players and golfers, we love to be outside on the court and course as much as possible, especially in the spring and summer. However, prolonged exposure to the sun comes with a higher risk of eye damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While sunglasses can increase contrast and reduce glare, one of the most important functions of the right pair of eyewear is protecting your eyes and the skin surrounding them from the sun’s UV rays, specifically UVA and UVB. 

UVA has a longer wavelength (slightly less energy) and can cause skin aging, like wrinkles and sunspots, and is also linked to some skin cancers.  UVB emits more energy, can directly damage DNA, and is responsible for most UV-related cancers. Exposure to this radiation has 3 direct eye-health problems:

  • Pinguecula - a protein and fat deposit in the white part of the eye that can cause irritation
  • Pterygium - a growth of fleshy tissue that can grow large enough to cover part of the cornea and materially impact your vision
  • Cataracts - a modification of the eye lens proteins, causing cloudy areas in the eye’s lens, leading to blurry vision, haziness, and color loss

Common Misconceptions

There are several common misconceptions regarding UV radiation and sunglasses that are worth dispelling to make sure you stay protected.

1. Polarized Lenses = UV Protection

Polarized lenses cut down on glare from light reflected off of a surface but do not block UV rays

2. You can only get UV damage when it’s sunny.

Sun damage is also possible on cloudy days, as UV radiation can penetrate some clouds and may even be more intense due to reflection off of the clouds.

3. You can’t sustain UV damage when it’s cold outside.

Sun damage is caused by UV radiation, not temperature. A cool day in summer can have similar UV levels to a warm day.

Stay Protected with RIA Eyewear

All RIA Eyewear lenses, from our darkest Court HD+ lenses to our lightest Clear HD+ lenses and everything in between, block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. For maximum protection, we recommend opting for one of our higher-wrap styles, like Vantage or Model One, to give you the greatest peripheral sun coverage. Check out our full line of court eyewear here and our golf collection here.

While everyone should wear UV protection, people with lighter-color eyes (green or blue) are more susceptible to UV damage and should be extra cautious. Additionally, lower latitude states (e.g. Florida) get more UV radiation than the rest of the U.S. and should exercise increased caution when out on the course or court for extended periods of time.

So, whether you're on the court or the course, protecting your eyes from harmful UV radiation is a must to maintain optimal vision and safeguard your long-term eye health. We want you to enjoy your sport of choice for years to come, and we pride ourselves on providing you with superior protection when it comes to how you see those sports.