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The most important thing is to choose sunglasses or goggles that provide UV protection. The harmful rays you will need to guard against are UVA and UVB. Even short-term exposure to these can result in painful sunburn of the eyes. This disorder is called "photokeratitis." In the long-term, UV rays can damage your eyes permanently and lead to cataracts and other eye conditions. Be sure to purchase sunglasses that block at least 95% of these rays.