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  • Writer's pictureBright Eyes Family Vision

Hello Sunshine

With the weather finally warming up again (and staying that way) we want to discuss something very important...sunglasses! They’re helpful to block the brightness of the sun and they can be fashionable. But in addition to the obvious benefits, there are some very important health benefits to wearing sunglasses.

A good pair of sunglasses protects against UV rays. Think of them like sunscreen for your eyes. Most of us know some of the damaging effects the sun can have on your skin, but do you know what effect UV rays can have on your eyes?

  • Pinguecula: This is one of the most common conditions we see related to sun damage. It is a yellowish growth over the white tissue on the surface of your eye. This is a benign condition but the elevated tissue often becomes more dry and red since it is harder for your tears to spread evenly over it.

  • Cataracts: Although cataracts are typically considered an age-related change, exposure to UV rays throughout life can affect the age of onset and severity of cataract formation. Cataracts are a cloudiness of the lens inside your eye, which causes increased glare and blurred vision. They are treatable with surgery, but simply wearing sunglasses can slow down the aging process of the lens, thus delaying or preventing the need for surgery.

  • Macular Degeneration: This is another age-related disease but it can have permanent effects on your vision. Macular degeneration is a breakdown of the cells in your central area of vision. UV exposure is not the sole cause of this disease but studies show that it may accelerate the disease process.

  • Photokeratitis: This happens when the front surface of the eye, the cornea, gets a sunburn. This is most common when a person is exposed to high amounts of reflections from the sun, like while skiing or at a beach. Photokeratitis is very painful and easily prevented with sunglasses.

  • Cancer: Skin cancer is often found around the eyes from UV exposure. But one of the best thing about sunglasses is they can help prevent it!

Seems crazy that all of these can be caused, or made worse by UV ray exposure. But like we said, with the right kind of sunglasses you can help prevent all of these. What do we mean by the ‘right kind’ of sunglasses? Sunglasses come in all shapes and sizes, but there are two things to be aware of!

  • Polarization: What's so great about polarized sunglasses? There is an extra layer of protection built right into the lens that filters out reflective light and gives a clearer view.

  • UV Protection: UV protection means blocking the ultraviolet light from reaching your eyes. Just as sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV damage, good sunglasses filter out the harmful ultraviolet rays so they don't damage your eyes.

The BEST way to ensure you have quality polarized, UV protective sunglasses is to visit your eye doctor! We have a wide selection of sunglass frames to suit any style. Investing in a pair of high quality lenses for your sunglasses can help prevent damage, both short term and long term, to your eyes.

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