Click logo to go to home page!                   Link to Elvex main safety products page.

Home | FAQ | News | Products | Shooting Sports | Resources | Get Info | Links | Search | Contents | Articles | Contact Us | Testimonials | Distributor Resources | Educational Videos | Photo Gallery | Translation | Privacy | Download catalog and price lists

How Light Affects the Eye

The spectrum of light ranges from Ultraviolet (UV) to Visible Light and on to Infrared (IR) light. The UV and IR light is invisible to the human eye, but can none the less have dangerous effects. The visible light, that provides us with color vision represents just a small, part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Click here to learn about the anatomy of the eye! 

Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet or UV light can damage the eyes in several ways. Excessive exposure to the lowest wavelengths of UV light, also called UV-C, (180-290 nm) can cause damage to the Cornea as well as the Lens. These wavelengths are not common in nature, since they are absorbed by the atmosphere, but are present in in some industrial environments, such as electric arch welding.  The mid UV wavelengths, also called UV-B, (290-320 nm) can cause damage to the Lens as well as cause welders eye (feels like sand in the eye). Mid UV light is present both in sunlight and in some industrial environments. The high UV wavelengths, also called UV-A, (320-380 nm) are present in all outdoor environments. Excessive exposure can cause fatigue or snow blindness.

Read an article regarding UV light by Dr. James H. Gibson, Director USDA UV-B Monitoring Program Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University. (PDF File)

High UV and Blue Light

Blue light (380-480 nm) can cause damage to the Retina (the back of the eye). Blue light is present in regular sun light, as well as in office environments (computer screens generate Blue light) and in select industrial applications.

Near Infrared Light

Infrared radiation (not visible light) is present in sun light, as well as in many industrial processes. Examples are steel manufacturing, glass melting and blowing operations as well as electric welding. Infrared light can cause damage to both the lens and cornea as well as the retina.

Click here to check the protection that is offered by Elvex safety glass lenses!! 

The Human Eye

  • The Cornea is the clear protective tissue that covers the front of the eye
  • The Lens is a transparent tissue inside the eye, that focuses light rays onto the Retina
  • The Pupil is the dark center of the eye. The pupil determines how much light is let into the eye.
  • The Iris is the colored part of the eye.
  • The Retina is a nerve tissue in the back of the eye, that senses light and sends impulses to the brain through the Optic Nerve.
  • The Macula is a small area of the Retina that contains special light sensitive cells. The macula allows us to see fine details clearly.

eyesmall.gif (26254 bytes)


Home | FAQ | News | Products | Shooting Sports | Resources | Get Info | Links | Search | Contents | Articles | Contact Us | Testimonials | Distributor Resources | Educational Videos | Photo Gallery | Translation | Privacy | Download catalog and price lists

Copyright © 1998-2001, Elvex Corporation