Choose Sunglasses Carefully and Wear ThemBy Home Security Source Aug 3, 2010 | 10:20:00 amPosted in: Personal Safety, Home Security Tips
As we continue to enjoy long days in the warm summer sun, it’s important to remember that too much sun exposure can cause more than just painful skin burns. We may do serious damage to our eyes unless we protect them by wearing quality sunglasses anytime we are outdoors during the day.
Sunlight showers us with invisible ultraviolet light. Two components of that light — UVA and UVB — are a concern for doctors. UVB exposure can lead to cataracts, a gradual clouding of the eye’s lens that, if untreated, can cause blindness. Also, by penetrating the eyelids, UVB rays can increase the chances of developing melanoma on the skin around the eyes. It can also lead to premature winkles.
Other studies have shown UV exposure may contribute to other eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cancer and an abnormal growth on the eye’s surface known as pterygium.
Your eye’s lens primarily absorbs the UVA rays. Doctors have not shown any direct link between UVA and damage or blindness, but still recommend covering your eyes to block these rays as well.
The best protection for your eyes is sunglasses that are labeled to block 99 to 100 percent of the UV rays. Tinted glasses without UV protection may be more harmful that not wearing any sunglasses at all. As the light is blocked, your pupils dilate to help you to see better. This lets even more harmful UV rays pass through your pupils. If you are unsure how effective your sunglasses are at blocking UV rays, many optical stores and ophthalmologists will test them.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a pair of sunglasses:
o A label indicating 99 to 100 percent UV protection is very important.
o To prevent UV rays from filtering in from around edges, choose close-fitting, larger-lensed or wrap-around sunglasses.
o The coating for blocking UV rays is clear, so darker glasses won’t necessarily give you better protection.
o Price is not the best way to judge UV protection. Higher prices are usually a sign of higher fashion. That UV label is the most important factor.
There are now UV-absorbing contact lenses that do provide some protection, but they should not be seen as a replacement for sunglasses. Sunglasses cover the entire eye area.
And don’t put your sunglasses away on cloudy days or when summer turns to fall. When it’s light outside, UV rays are still reaching your eyes. Make wearing your sunglasses a habit anytime you are outdoors during the day.
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