Enjoying the summer? You’re not forgetting to add “sunglasses” to your list of summer essentials, right? Think of them as sunscreen for one of the most crucial and delicate parts of your body – your eyes.
Direct and indirect sunlight can expose your eyes to the sun’s UV rays, and extended exposure to UV rays has been linked to eye damage, which includes cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis that can cause both temporary and permanent vision loss. Cataracts, the most common vision affliction in women and men over 50, are caused in large part by exposure to UV rays – an estimated 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.
Of course, sunglasses are a major fashion accessory. Movie stars, models, James Bond, Jackie, James Dean – no famous face has been in the sun without this essential fashion statement. Actually, some were known to wear them at night – something that we do not recommend, from a health standpoint…
Before we move into the fun part of picking your sunglasses, let’s take a look at the basics for a good pair of sunglasses that will do the job of protecting your eyes (and your family’s…)
- Look for sunglasses that protect you from 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. This includes those labeled as “UV 400,” which blocks all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers.
- If you spend long periods of time outside, especially on or near the water – water reflects and amplifies UV exposure – you may want to consider wraparound sunglasses to prevent harmful UV rays from entering around the frame.
- Give preference to sunglasses with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are coated with a chemical film that helps reduce glare. Glare is caused when light from the sun is reflected off of water or a solid surface, like sidewalks and asphalt. By neutralizing glare, polarized lenses help you see objects more clearly, and also help reduce the harmful effects of UV light.
- Kids need sunglasses too. A substantial amount of damage to the eyes occurs in the early years of development.
Style-wise, current trends for sunglasses point to the bold and vintage-inspired. Mirrored tints are all the rage for her and him. Oversized frames, pops of color and interesting textures are major.
By now you know that the best way to shop for eyewear is at a local, trusted shop, where trained personnel can give you all the pointers you need, in both style and quality. Before you pack for your summer getaway, stop by OohLala Optometry and stock up! We are fully stocked with sunglasses and sunglass frames in all the major trends. And, as always, we provide the best advice on how to pick your own vision health and fashion statement.