It’s well-known that sunscreen protects skin from the harmful effects of the sun. However, you might not know that sun exposure can also have adverse health effects on your eyes. Sunscreen helps to reflect the sun’s rays, keeping skin healthy and glowing. Your sunglasses in your glove box also play an important role in protecting your eyes from sunburns.
The Dark Side of the Sun
Nothing is better than spending a day lounging at the pool under the summer sun. There isn’t much that can top that level of relaxation. You are ready for a day in the sun with sunscreen (with at least 30 SPF) and an ice-cold drink.
However, harsh reflections from the sun known as glare put your eyes under tremendous strain, especially over long periods of exposure.
Further still Unprotected eyes can cause long-term damage. Unprotected eyes can lead to everything from sunburns to cataracts.
Photokeratitis is the term for sunburned eyelids. It’s caused by inflammation of the cornea (the clear covering at the front of your eyes). If your eyes feel dry, sensitive, dry, and itchy after spending a day out in the sun, then it is most likely that your eyes have been sunburnt. Photokeratitis usually clears up in a few days. To relieve the discomfort, you can remove your contacts and apply a cool compress.
A cataract is a clouding or darkening of the lens of an eye. This is the part of the eye responsible for focusing light on the retina and helping us see clearly. Images will appear sharp if the lens is clear (no cataract). However, cloudy images (a cataract) will look blurry and difficult to read.
The macula is the central part of the retina that has a large job. It is responsible for sharp, clear vision processing. Without the macula, we wouldn’t be able to read, write, drive a vehicle, recognize faces, and so on. We will take a moment to express our gratitude for your macula’s hard work.
Similar to cataracts, macular degeneration is more common with older age. Unprotected or prolonged exposure to UV light can increase macular degeneration risk.
Sunglasses should not be considered an accessory for summer, but an essential prescription to maintain eye health. Sun exposure for long periods without protection can increase your risk of developing eye diseases such as cataracts and growths.
Select sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of both UVA/UVB radiation. Sometimes labels can be confusing. Some sunglasses claim to offer 100% protection against UVA/UVB radiation while others provide 100 percent UV 400 protection. Both will block 100% of the sun’s harmful radiation.
Bring your sunglasses to an optical shop, or an ophthalmologist’s clinic. Many optical shops have a UV light meter that can measure the UV-blocking abilities of your sunglasses.
Respect the Specks
While some sunglasses are better at protecting your eyes than others; the sunglasses you bought at the drugstore seven years ago may not work anymore.
Look for sunglasses which offer 100 percent UV protection. Although UV coating can be applied to sunglasses made of plastic that do not already provide 100 percent protection, it is easier to find sunglasses that offer full protection. We promise that there are many options available in the size and style you prefer.
Bigger is not always better. Choose larger frames that are close to your eyes, but still fit snugly on your face. This will reduce light from the sides and top.
Contrary to popular belief darker sunglasses don’t offer greater sun protection. It is best to choose lenses with the same tint across.