The Importance of Wearing Sunglasses

May 25, 2016

Category 1

Sunglasses are much more than a cool fashion accessory; they’re also important when it comes to maintaining your vision. Unfortunately, 27 percent of Americans don’t wear sunglasses at all. Ever. And of the 73 percent that do claim to wear sunglasses, many don’t know how to choose a pair that will give their eyes the protection they need.

Reasons to Wear Sunglasses

UV (UltraViolet) Protection: Just like your skin, your eyes are susceptible to damage from UV overexposure. The sun’s UV radiation can cause cataracts and photokeratitis, sometimes called snow blindness, which is a painful, temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to UV rays. Also, cancer of the skin around the eyes is more common than people realize, accounting for 5 to 10 percent of all skin cancers. Think about it; the skin around your eyes, including your eyelids, is among the thinnest and most sensitive on your body, making it particularly vulnerable to wrinkling and age spots from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is a vulnerable area, making it important to protect.

Blue-Light Protection: Long-term exposure to the blue and violet portion of the solar spectrum has been implicated as a risk factor for macular degeneration, especially for individuals who are “sun sensitive.” This causes changes that resemble those of macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent vision loss. Although more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is “too much blue light” for the retina, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase a person’s risk of macular degeneration later in life.

Comfortable (more effective) vision: The sun’s brightness and glare interferes with comfortable vision and the ability to see clearly. This can mean danger for people engaged in activities, which rely on vision (such as driving). Bright sunlight can be a trigger for migraines and bad headaches. And even if you don’t suffer from migraines or headaches, wearing sunglasses when out in the sun will still help reduce eye fatigue, meaning that you’ll be more comfortable and enjoy your time outdoors more.

Protection from the elements: The sun isn’t the only thing that can damage your eyes. Spending time outdoors puts you at additional risk of damage from sand, dust, wind and even snow. Consider that snow reflects 80% of UV rays from the sun and can cause a condition known as snow blindness, where glare from the sun actually burns the cornea. We highly recommend wearing sunglasses if you’re skiing, climbing snowy mountains or spending time in the snow (at any time of year). Because of the reflective nature of the snow, you should make sure your sunglasses cover and protect the bottom of your eyes,. Likewise, sunglasses that fully cover your eyes are a great way to keep sand, dust and other particulates from irritating your eyes, especially on windy days.

Healing & Recovery: If you’ve had LASIK or PRK surgery to correct your vision, you should be extra sure to wear sunglasses. Your doctor may recommend a pair for you to wear immediately after the procedure, but continuing to wear sunglasses can protect your eyes as they heal and as you adjust to your new vision.

How to Select Your Sunglasses

For the times when you need serious sun protection for your eyes, not all sunglasses are created equal. You can’t use price as a gauge of quality, either, as many of the higher priced brands cost more because of fashion, not function. Some quick tips to ensure you’re getting a high-quality pair include:

  • Avoid sunglasses that simply say “absorbs UV,” instead look for a label that says 99-100 percent UV absorption or UV 400 (which means they block all UVA and UVB rays)
  • Polarized lenses reduce glare at the beach, in the snow, or out on the water. But polarized lenses don’t take the place of UV protection.
  • Darker lens colors don’t necessarily mean better sun protection, as the UV protectant added to lenses is clear; even gray, green, yellow or rose lenses can offer adequate UV protection.
  • Sunglasses made from pressed plastic will lead to distorted vision when you look to the right or left; choose sunglasses with optically ground lenses for less distortion.
  • Larger frames and wraparound styles will shield more UV rays than smaller styles, as will close fitting glasses.

Get Your Sunglasses at Family Eyecare of Linden!

At Family Eyecare of Linden, Dr. Moyshelis loves helping patients enhance their style and improve their vision. That’s why we sell and more importantly make prescription sunglasses.

We have the ability to make practically any sunglasses frame we sell in the office to be prescription and make the lenses polarized therefore giving the best correction optically as well as protection from the sun and glare. Moreover, the lab we use can recreate a mirror coating that has been very popular and fashionable over the last couple of years onto prescription sunglasses.

We can also fit those in need of contact lenses with lenses so they have the ability to use their non prescription sunglasses and see at the same time.

For those individuals who are sensitive to glare we can make lenses with anti reflective coatings to accommodate for the glare.

Also the lenses that we offer children all come with a built in UV filter for their protection!

If you want sunglasses that are as healthy as they are stylish, ask us about the available options at Family Eyecare of Linden.

Family Eyecare of Linden

515 N Wood Avenue, Ste 102

Linden, NJ 07036

Tel: 908-259-5059

Fax: 908-486-5006


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