Protect Your Eyes From the Sun With UV-Blocking Sunglasses
June 28, 2011
As the summer begins, The Vision Council and Prevent Blindness America organization are reminding Americans that protecting their eyes from UV radiation is just as important as protecting their skin.
According to the Prevent Blindness America organization, exposing the eyes to UV-rays can cause macular degeneration, cataract, pterygium (a growth that begins in the white of the eye and may affect the cornea), cancer of the eyelid, and corneal sunburn.
To protect your eyes from UV-rays, it is important to wear UV-blocking sunglasses whenever you’re outside. Here are some tips for buying a good pair of sunglasses:
- Buy from a reputable retailer: Their products will meet frame and lens quality criteria set by the American National Standards Institute.
- Look for UV protection: Sunglasses should filter UVA and UVB light.
- Try the sunglasses on: Fit and feel make a difference because sunglasses that are uncomfortable are less likely to be worn.
- Use multiple pairs: Different lenses and frames may be suited to various types of activities.
- Understand lens color: The darkness of a lens has nothing to do with UV protection, although various lens colors can offer other benefits. For instance, yellow- and brown-tinted lenses are best when used for water sports; gray, brown and amber are great for field sports; and mirror coatings work well for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
- Focus on design: For extra protection, wraparound glasses or glasses with larger temple pieces help block the sun from side angles.
Additional resources on protecting your eyes from the sun can be found on the Prevent Blindness America website: http://www.preventblindness.org/uv/.
Risa Schulman, PhD
Expert, Healthy Food and Dietary Supplement Science, Marketing and Regulatory
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