How Sunglasses Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy


Whether they’re prescription sunglasses, polarized sunglasses or the latest designer lenses and frames, sunglasses do more than make you look good. They’re an important part of keeping your eyes healthy. If you’re shopping for sunglasses, here are some tips from Optical Solutions.

Why wear sunglasses?

Just like your skin, your eyes need protection from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The right sunglasses can help protect against cataracts, growths on the eye (including cancer) and other eye conditions.

Certain eye conditions can put you at greater risk for UV damage. These include:

  • Macular degeneration – Your eyes could be more sensitive to UV radiation, so wear sunglasses whenever you go outside.
  • Retinal dystrophy – You might be at greater risk of UV-related sun damage.
  • Cataract surgery – Older intraocular lenses (IOLs) absorb less UV light than newer ones. If you did not get one of the newer, UV-absorbing IOLs, always wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a hat for extra protection.

Medicines that can make your eyes and skin more sensitive include:

  • Tetracycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Allopurinol
  • Phenothiazine
  • Psoralens

For the best protection against bright light and damaging UV rays, choose lenses that wrap around the sides of your face. Pair your sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat. Smart and stylish!

Do sunglasses always protect my eyes?

No. Even the best sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from very intense light. Tanning bed lights, industrial lights such as welding torches, glare from snow fields and looking directly into the sun can cause serious eye damage. These light sources can cause an extremely painful corneal condition called photokeratitis (also called “snow blindness”). They can also damage the retina, causing permanent loss vision loss. Ask your eye doctor how to protect your eyes from intense light, including long hours in the snow or on the water.

Do kids need to wear sunglasses?

In a word – yes. But toy sunglasses from the grocery store won’t offer the protection your child needs. While UV eye damage can happen at any age, children’s young eyes are especially sensitive.

Talk to your child’s doctor about when he or she needs an eye exam. Tell the eye doctor about your child’s sports and outdoor activities. The doctor can help you find sunglasses that protect your child’s eyes and fit your budget.

Optical Solutions has a selection of children’s eyewear, including prescription and non-prescription sunglasses for children.

Finding the perfect pair of sunglasses

To find just the right pair of sunglasses, talk to one of Optical Solutions’ experienced opticians.

Published by knanosky

Our first piece of advice when we bought our Airstream was from friends and fellow campers. They said to make sure you "keep the shiny side up." Something that struck me kind of funny, but so true :)

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