Many people are cheered by a bright, sunny day, but the effect of all that sunlight on the eyes is a less sunny proposition. UV and glare can create a variety of issues, from dangerous "snow blindness" to irreversible disorders that threaten your eyesight. If you want to know more about choosing the right sunglasses, call Avery Eye Clinic and ask to speak with one of our knowledgeable opticians.
What are UV rays? Many UV stands for ultraviolet, a band of spectrum invisible to the eye. Ultraviolet light consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVC rays are stopped in Earth's atmosphere before they reach the eye, but UVA and UVB can both reach the eye to cause potential damage.
How does UV affect unprotected eyes? UV rays can cause proteins inside the lens to become opaque or cloudy, a condition known as cataracts. Cataracts can interfere with night vision, reduce your ability to see colors, and make reading difficult; Cataracts cannot be reversed, only removed. UV exposure can also cause damage to the retina, changes in the eye tissues, and a temporary but painful "sunburn" of the cornea called photokeratitis.
How do I know my glasses will protect my eyes? Choose glasses that claim to block at least 99 percent of UV rays -- UVA as well as UVB. Look for label reading "UV 400," since this designation means that the glasses block UV rays as small as 400 nanometers, providing 100 percent eye protection. Of course you need to protect your eyes from the glare caused by the visible spectrum as well. To accomplish this, select products that block 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
What are polarized lenses? Polarized lenses are specially designed to filter out certain types of glare that tend to radiate upward from horizontal surfaces when sunlight bounces off of these surfaces. They are recommended for activities such as boating, fishing, skiing, golfing, jogging, and driving. Most polarized lenses will bear a label identifying them as such.
What types of glasses can I choose from? We are able to provide you with a wide range of sunglass and frame options. If you normally wear glasses to correct your eyesight, you may be happy with a non-prescription pair of magnetic "clip-ons" that fit over your lenses, or you may prefer a pair of prescription "shades," or you can order lenses that darken when exposed to bright light.
What additional types of protection should I consider? If you worry about harmful UV rays leaking in through sides or top of your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to reduce some of this exposure. If you use prescription eyewear to correct your eyesight, you may consider getting a pair of UV-blocking contact lenses in your prescription. These lenses may be worn with a pair of non-prescription sunglasses for optimum eye protection.
For more information on choosing the right sunglasses, contact our office today.