beaumont vision pdx eyecare blog
August 22, 2018

What Types of Protection Should My Sunglasses Have?

The Sun Is Out: Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses

It’s that time of year again: time for those of us who live in places where the sun hides for most of the year to buy yet another pair of sunglasses. For many, it seems like the ones we had just nine short months ago can never be found when another summer rolls around.

While buying sunglasses can feel like a bit of a chore – after all, there are fashion considerations to make and the budget you want to or need to stay within – the really important question is what kind of sunglasses “should” you be wearing for the greatest amount of protection. After all, sunglasses aren’t merely supposed to be shade for your eyes; they’re supposed to protect your eyes from the sun. Here’s a guide to choosing the best sunglasses for protecting your vision this summer.

sunglass protection

The Dark Sunglasses Myth

Once upon a time, many people thought that the darker the glasses, the more protection from the sun they offered your eyes. Not only is this a completely false assertion, but it’s actually a dangerous myth.

No amount of dark tint, or mirroring for that matter, will do anything to protect your eyes. In fact, the darker your sunglasses, the more they could leave your eyes exposed to the harmful effects of the sun.

Light is information to your eyes and the visual cortex in your brain. Your eyes let in light through your pupils and send their impression of that light to your visual cortex for interpretation. The darker it is, the more your pupils dilate to let in more light.

This happens when you wear dark glasses as well, and if your dark glasses aren’t protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun, then they’re letting in more of it to potentially inflict damage.

Sunscreen for Your Eyes—What Your Eyes Need Protection From

So what exactly are the harmful effects of the sun when it comes to our eyes? And what do our eyes really need protection from?

In short, your eyes need to be shielded from the same light that can burn your skin – ultraviolet light – which can damage your eyes, as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have shown that “ultraviolet light exposure to the eye has been associated with cataract formation and retinal degeneration.”

So are sunglasses truly necessary for maintaining optimal eye health? Yes, sunglasses that protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV light are essential for maintaining your eye health and protecting your vision from a variety of problems.

The Wraparound Sunglasses Option

Furthermore, your eyes don’t just need protection from UV light that is coming straight at them from wherever you happen to be facing. For optimal protection, consider purchasing wraparound-style sunglasses.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you want sunglasses that block 99-100% of both UVA and UVB light: “wraparound glasses… shaped to keep light from shining around the frames and into your eyes.”

Carrying Your Own Shade With You This Summer

Thanks to ozone depletion, there is more ultraviolet radiation in the light that we get from the sun these days then there may have been when you were younger. Because of this, it is very important to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB light.

Seek out sunglasses that wrap around your eyes and block 99-100% of ultraviolet light. Consider adding a brimmed hat as well; think of it as carrying your own shade. Just like you protect your skin from the sun, you must also protect your sight.

August 11, 2018

UV Radiation and Your Eyes: Protecting Your Vision From the Sun

Don’t Forget About Your Eyes When It Comes to your Summer Sun Protection

summer sun eye protection

As we hurdle into summer, it’s important to think of our eyes before spending hours out in the sun. In the same way that you religiously wear sunscreen and sun hats in order to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, you should protect your eyes, too.

Whenever you plan your summer vacations and sunny excursions, keep in mind that the sun can have a profound and dangerous effect on our eyes. Exposure to bright sunlight has been proven to cause cataracts and cancer in the eyes. UV radiation can damage the cornea and lens in addition to the surface of the eye.

Fortunately, there are many ways to protect the eyes from the sun so that we can still have fun in the sun all summer long. Check out these tips and tricks to make sure that your eyes are protected from the sun while you’re enjoying your time outdoors this summer. Wearing proper eye protection can save your eyes from the harmful damage caused by UV radiation.

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are the best way to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. Be sure to wear shades that have full ultraviolet protection. Your sunglasses should block UVA and UVB rays. Remember to still wear sunglasses even if you wear UV blocking contact lenses.

The best way to fully protect your eyes is to wear wrap-around sunglasses that sit close to your face, so the sun’s rays can’t come in through the sides. Remember that dark lens sunglasses don’t necessarily provide better protection—you need UV blocking lenses.

Sit in the Shade

Try not to sit in direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest between 10am and 2pm. Give your eyes a break between these hours by sitting under a beach umbrella or spending some time indoors.

Staring directly at the sun can burn a hole through the retina, even if you’re wearing UV blocking sunglasses. Sun damage to the eyes is cumulative, meaning that light damage to the eyes as a child can cause greater damage later in life. Kids often spend more time outdoors during the summer than adults, so make sure their eyes are properly protected and consider calling them inside for a lunch or snack break when the sun is directly overhead.

Always Wear Sunscreen

While you may be used to lathering sunscreen on your arms and legs, don’t forget to also get your eyelids and under your eyes with at least SPF 30. If regular broad spectrum SPF stings your eyes, try a sensitive skin sunscreen.

Many makeups and foundations now have an SPF so you can add an extra layer of protection when you put your makeup on every morning. Look for eye creams and moisturizers with an SPF at your department store makeup counter or drug store so that you can protect parts of the face that may be more sensitive.

Protecting Your Eyes From UV Radiation Is an Investment in Your Eyesight

Protecting your eyes from harmful UV radiation now will help to ensure that your eyesight stays healthy in the future. Following these tips will allow you to protect your eyes while enjoying the sun this summer.

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