The Importance of Wearing Sunglases

The Importance of Wearing Sunglases

We all understand the importance of wearing sunscreen and a hat due to the sun’s harmful ultra violet (UV) rays that can cause certain types of skin cancer.  With all this talk of protecting our skin and face did you know that we need to protect our eyes too? According to the American Optometric Association, the long term effects of UV ray exposure to the human eye can be linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and a number eye diseases including cancer of the eye.

When should we start wearing sunglasses?  

The earlier the better.  A study by Dr. Richard W. Young in the Journal of the National Medical Association finds cataracts and macular degeneration, which are a result of the normal aging process, are caused by three major factors: oxygen, heat and solar radiation.  As Dr. Young points out, you can stop solar radiation from penetrating the eye by wearing proper UV protected sunglasses. Slowing the process from which these eye diseases form can help prolong a person’s ability to see.

Which sunglasses are best?
A proper fitting pair of sunglasses will block out more UV light than an ill-fitting pair.  Sunglasses that are too loose, don’t conform to the face, or do not fit your nose correctly can cause unnecessary UV exposure to your eyes and skin around the eyes. Your lenses should offer at least UV 400 protection.  Some of the $9.99 sunglasses will have a sticker offering 100% UV protection, but do not actually provide that level of protection. Our North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Optical Centers in North Durham and Cary only stocks 100% UV protected sun wear.  We also stress the importance of polarized lenses.  Polarized sunglass lenses reduce glare, and can reduce the amount of squinting.  Visit our optical centers and ask us about the importance of wearing UV protected and polarized sunglasses. Through July 29th, NCEENT is offering $25 off non-prescription and $75 off prescription sunglasses.

By Amber Dabrowski, Optical Center Manager