Window Film Blog
Woman sitting at a desk next to a window and rubbing her eyes for a post on UV blocking window film for eye health

UV Blocking Window Film And Eye Health

We all know that ultraviolet light is bad for our skin. But did you know that it is also bad for our eyes? Key to protecting your eyes is understanding the connection between UV blocking window film and eye health.

Ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the eyes in several ways, as different structures within the eye can absorb UV radiation. Overexposure to UV light can lead to both short-term and long-term eye problems. But you can reduce your exposure to UV light in your home by installing UV-blocking window film.

What is UV light?

UV light, short for ultraviolet light, is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is not visible to the human eye. It has a shorter wavelength and higher energy than visible light. UV light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which also includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, X-rays, and gamma rays.

UV light is categorized into three types based on wavelength: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-A has the longest wavelength and is the least energetic, while UV-C has the shortest wavelength and is the most energetic. UV-C light is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and does not reach the surface, whereas UV-A and UV-B light can reach the Earth’s surface.

UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum for a blog post on uv-blocking window film and eye health

Source: National Eye Institute

UV light is emitted by the Sun and artificial sources such as UV lamps and lasers. It has several important applications and effects. For example, UV-A light is used in black lights, tanning beds, and some insect traps. UV-B light is responsible for the production of vitamin D in the skin but can also cause sunburn, skin aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. UV-C light has germicidal properties and is used for disinfection purposes in air and water purification systems, hospitals, laboratories, and other settings.

It is important to note that excessive exposure to UV light, particularly UV-B and UV-C, can be harmful to living organisms, including humans. It is advised to take precautions such as wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses, and limiting exposure to direct sunlight or artificial sources of UV light.

How does UV Damage the Eyes?

UV light can damage the cells of the eye, just as it can damage skin cells. In fact, during the pandemic, UV lights became popular as a way to disinfect homes and doctors reported a spike in eye injury and cornea damage in people who used them.

Here are some other ways in which UV light can damage the eyes:


Also known as “snow blindness” or “welder’s flash,” photokeratitis is a painful inflammation of the cornea caused by short-term exposure to high levels of UV radiation. Symptoms include redness, tearing, light sensitivity, and a gritty feeling in the eyes. Photokeratitis usually resolves on its own within 24-48 hours, but it is essential to protect the eyes from further UV exposure during the healing process.

Pinguecula and pterygium:

These are non-cancerous growths on the eye’s surface caused by long-term exposure to UV radiation. A pinguecula is a small, yellowish bump on the conjunctiva, while a pterygium is a larger, wedge-shaped growth that can extend over the cornea. Both conditions can cause irritation, redness, and blurred vision. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.


Long-term exposure to UV radiation can increase the risk of developing cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that leads to impaired vision. Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, particularly among older adults, and often require surgical treatment to restore clear vision.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD):

Chronic exposure to UV light is thought to contribute to the development of AMD, a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. AMD affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. While the exact link between UV exposure and AMD is not yet fully understood, protecting the eyes from UV radiation is considered an essential preventive measure.

Skin cancer:

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can increase the risk of developing skin cancer around the eyelids and other delicate areas of the eye.

How to Protect Your Eyes from UV Damage

To protect your eyes from UV damage, follow these precautions:

Wear sunglasses:

Choose sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection, and opt for wrap-around styles to shield your eyes from all angles.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat:

This can help block UV radiation from reaching your eyes and face.

Seek shade:

Limit your time outdoors during peak UV radiation hours (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).

Two chairs on the beach under an umbrella for a post on UV blocking window film for eye health

Be aware of reflections:

UV radiation can be reflected by surfaces like water, snow, and sand, increasing your exposure even in the shade.

Check the UV Index:

Be mindful of the UV Index in your area and take appropriate sun protection measures when the UV levels are high.

Install window film:

If you spend a lot of time in front of a window working – or your house is bathed in sunlight – the brightness and glare and the UV rays can put a strain on your eyes.

UV-blocking window film can help to protect your eyes from damage. ComforTech™ Ceramic Series film from Concord Window Film blocks > 99% of UV rays, protecting you and your family. Learn more about our UV-blocking window film.

Connect for News, Deals and Product Info