Just because summer is coming to close, doesn’t mean that we should neglect having good sun protection for our eyes. In the cooler fall months, it is still very important for everyone to wear sunglasses. UV radiation can cause changes in skin cells causing skin cancer and other problems. Just as skin damage can occur from over exposure to UV rays, damage to the eyes from UV rays can also occur. Common eye conditions that can occur in relation to over exposure of UV rays are, cataracts, macular degeneration, pinguecula and pterygiums. Much of this damage is cumulative, that is why it is important for everyone to wear sunglasses! However, picking a pair of sunglasses can sometimes be a daunting task. Here are some tips about wearing sunglasses and also how to protect your eyes from UV damage.
Start Wearing Sunglasses At An Early Age
The damage that UV exposure does to the body is cumulative, so it is important to start wearing sunglasses and protect the body from harmful UV, at an early age. Since kids spend significantly more time outdoors then adults, the damage from exposure is greater. Up to half of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation can occur before the age of 18. This is why we recommend that all children wear sunglasses to help reduce the amount of UV exposure.
Selecting A Frame That Fits
When choosing a frame and wearing sunglasses, make sure that it is a well fitting frame that provides ample coverage. Just like a clear pair of glasses a good frame fit is important. A sunglass frame that has a slight wrap to it, will also help protect the eyes a little better from UV, by preventing light rays from entering around the sides or behind the frame. Wearing sunglasses will also help to prevent wrinkles around the eyes. Selecting a frame that fits fairly close to the brown will help eliminate light from entering over the top of the glasses.
Selecting Sunglass Lenses
Select A UV Blocking Lens
The lenses are the most important part of the sunglasses. You want to get lenses that filter out both UVA and UVB rays. When wearing sunglasses, the pupil of the eye controls the amount of light entering the eye and how much light reached the back of the eyes. Because light is reduced when looking through a sunglass lens, the pupil becomes bigger to let more light into the eye. Therefor, more light entering the eye can also let more harmful UV rays in. That’s why a UV filtering lens is highly recommended.
Select Quality Lenses To Enable The Best Vision
It is also important to make sure that the sunglass lenses you are selecting are of optical quality. Some inexpensive sunglass lenses are just cut out from sheets of coloured plastic. If the lenses are not optical grade, they can create distortion and aberrations. These distortions can result in eye fatigue, eye strain, and headaches.
Select A Polarized Lenses
Polarized lenses deal with the vertical bounce of light (anything that light will reflect off of). This angle of light is often referred to as reflective glare. Often, we experience this type of glare off of water, snow, sand, or even the hood of our vehicles. Polarized lenses help to eliminate this type of reflective glare. Polarized lenses can come with many different add ons, such as mirror coatings, water repealed coatings, and backside antireflection coatings. An example of such lenses would be Maui Jim Sunglasses. Maui Jim sunglasses have the highest available light reduction. They provide rich colour and great contrast. They offer lenses that eliminate glare and enhance colour, all while offering 100% elimination of UV radiation. They also provide protection against a number of other stresses, such as reduced eye strain and squinting, and reducing headaches caused from glare. They also offer blue light protection. Blue light has lower energy rays then UV. However, recent research suggests they can penetrate deeply into the eyes and cause damage.
Just remember that just because a lens has a tint, doesn’t mean that it also provides UV protection.
Article Written By: Karen McAulay