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Is there anything like a beautiful sunny summer day? We think not. While many people know to slather on sunscreen before an afternoon out in the direct sun, they may be missing something else that’s critical. Eye protection is part and parcel of sun protection.
Sunglasses act like sunscreen for your eyes. That’s because the sun’s UV rays can actually burn the retinas of your eyes, creating a whole host of issues. And it’s not always apparent when it’s happening to us. Reflected sunlight (from the water, for example) is particularly dangerous because people aren’t always paying attention when participating in water sports. The same goes for overcast days. Some people are apt to let their guard down because the sun’s rays aren’t as apparent. Yet UV rays still pass through cloud coverage and cause optical damage.
Being unaware or negligent can prove to be dangerous. Beyond the discomfort that comes from having sunlight flood into your eyes, this exposure can also result in skin cancer, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and even a type of sunburn called photokeratitis. Some people experience headaches and migraines after exposure. In this case, it’s helpful to seek out fitted sunglasses that block peripheral light with flexible frames.
So you can see why sun protection is a necessity. But not all sunglasses are created equally. When looking for a pair of sunglasses, consider lenses that are polarized. These are effective because they cut down on the sun’s glare. You also might consider lenses that wrap around the entire eye to prevent any side-light exposure.
Adults set an example by taking these precautions to heart. There’s so much at stake for little ones. In fact it’s estimated that by age 18, a person will receive 80% of lifetime UV exposure. That’s why parents should encourage kids to wear sunglasses in order to prevent damage. Kids are particularly vulnerable because their eyes are still developing and they are less equipped to deal with harsh sun exposure. Teach them good habits now and they’ll thank you later!
Equal parts trendy and functional, the ultimate sunglass experience can be enjoyed with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are a win because they offer the most protection and comfort to the eye. Discomfort, strain and fatigue can become a thing of the past.
Remember, we’re here to help you know how to protect your vision year-round. Your Midwest Eye Consultants doctor can address any concerns you might have regarding your options for protective sunwear.