Sunglasses: A Must All Year Round

It’s Fall, Do I still need sunglasses?

The answer is a resounding Yes!! Your eyes need protection from the sun all year-round. Wearing a pair of fashionable sunglasses is one of the easiest ways to help your eyes.

Did you know that the first sunglasses were made in 12th Century China out of smoky panes of quartz?Sunglasses have come a long way since then with all types of styles and shapes so you can protect your eyes in any way you like.

When shopping for sunglasses look for information about the amount of protection that the sunglasses give you against UVA and UVB rays. It is best to look for glasses that block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays. You may also want to look for lenses that say that they meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements or say that say they give UV 400 protection, If you are not sure how what your glasses block eyeglass professionals may be able to measure their effectiveness using certain instruments. If you wear contacts that block UV rays you still need sunglasses because they lenses do not cover your entire eye. Shady areas do not block all UV light either so keep your sunglasses on.

UV light does not only damage your skin but also your eyelid, the cornea, the lens and other parts of your eye. UV exposure has been linked to the development of  cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium, wrinkles and other eye problems. UV exposure can also lead to eye melanoma. Eye melanoma, or ocular melanoma is an eye cancer. Among several risk factors for eye melanoma one is exposure to UV light, either naturally as from the sun or from the use of tanning beds.

Eye melanoma is not too common but will affect your vision and can possibly spread to other organs. Though sometimes visible, it typically grows in a part of the eye not seen except to an eye doctor. Many eye issues are not visible to the naked eye and this is yet another reason why it is important to have regular eye exams and also to see an ophthalmologist if you experience any unusual symptoms or problems with your sight.

Children also should make a habit of wearing sunglasses at a young age. Children typically are outdoors more than adults, and their clearer lenses allow more harmful light to penetrate.

It is also preferable to buy wraparound sunglasses to protect the whole eye. Polarized can also be helpful since they reduce glare from the sun.

As with many health issues, prevention is key. Be smart and take action now. Not only are sunglasses a quick and easy solution to help you maintain good eye health but they can make you look good too!


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