Sunglasses are an important part of our outdoors wardrobe during the Spring and Summer months.
Unfortunately, many people buy sunglasses to make a fashion statement — not to protect their eyesight. That is the wrong thing to do. According to Dr. Samuel Pierce, an optometrist in private practice in Trussville, Ala.,”Many patients underestimate how much UV rays can pose a significant risk to their vision.”
In fact, a survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that only 47 percent of Americans check the UV ray protection level before buying sunglasses. Here are several tips to insure you get the best sunglasses to protect your vision this summer.
Sunglasses: UV Rays Can Make You Blind
A strong statement, but true. Leaving your eyes unprotected during the summer makes you very vulnerable to UV rays. The UV rays enter the eye and penetrate through the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye. They can be harmful in several ways.
Over the short-term, overexposure to the sun can cause bloodshot eyes and hypersensitivity to light. Sunburn of the eye can also happen.
Symptoms include red eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. These effects are usually temporary.
However, in the long term, the suns’ UV rays can damage not only the cornea but also the lens of the eye. This can lead to growths on the eye, early cataract formation and macular degeneration.
It can also lead to certain types of skin cancers that are difficult to treat due to their location near the delicate structures of the eyelids. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, ten percent of all skin cancers are found on the eyelid.
Sunglasses: Seniors Affected By UV Rays
Aging increases the chances of developing cataracts as a results of UV exposure. Sunglasses can help in these cases as well.
Sunglasses: Tips To Protect Your Eyes
Here some tips from vision experts that will protect your eyes this Summer season:
• Max the UV blocking. Buy sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
• Buy wraparounds. Wraparounds block light from all sources and provides the most protection compared to flat-fronted sunglasses.
• Get “polarized.” This type of lens reduces reflections off horizontal surfaces, such as water, snow and the hood of a car. It reduces eye strain.
• Wear sunglasses even on cloudy days. Experts suggest wearing sunglasses even on cloudy days. The sun’s rays can actually be more harmful during the winter — especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow and ice.
. Brand name does not guarantee quality: In some cases, the lower cost glasses can be superior in blocking out UV rays. Check the label carefully.
• Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen around the eyes and wear a hat or visor. It can help improve protection.
• Don’t look directly at the sun. It can cause temporary or permanent damage to the retina.