July 10, 2020
Summer is here, and with the promise of longer, brighter days also comes an increased risk of UV damage to your eyes. Sunglasses may often seem like a simple fashion accessory, but they are actually an essential tool for protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. Most of us are aware that exposure to the sun’s rays can be dangerous for our skin, but few people realize that they can be just as harmful to our eyes. Our eyes and the surrounding skin can be very delicate, and easily affected by the radiation from the sun. Some common issues caused by unprotected exposure to UV light include: corneal sunburn, growths on the eye, and sight-threatening conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
There are countless types and styles of sunglasses available, so it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed by the choice. However, it is important to realize that not all sunglasses offer the same level of protection – far from it. So, how do you know which sunglasses offer the best UV protection in 2020?
Choosing the right lenses for UV protection
Many people are under the impression that the darker the tint on your sunglasses, the greater protection they offer against UV light. While they certainly might help to counteract the brightness on an extremely sunny day, the tint of your shades actually has nothing to do with their effectiveness against UV damage.
Most modern sunglasses have UV protection embedded in the lens rather than coated over it, and most reputable brands state the amount of UV protection a pair of sunglasses has on their label. Always look for sunglasses that state that they block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. This will give you the greatest protection against the sun’s damaging rays.
If you already have a pair of sunglasses that you like and would like to keep, but you aren’t sure how much UV light they block, speak to your eye doctor in Puyallup. They may be able to test them and find out for you.
Choosing the right style of sunglasses for UV protection
Everyone wants to choose sunglasses that complement their face shape and their personal sense of style. However, it is also important to note that the style of sunglasses you choose can also have an impact on their effectiveness in protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays. This is because some let more light in around the lenses than others.
If you want to protect as much of the delicate skin around your eyes as possible, you should consider:
Close-fitting lenses and frames
These styles offer far greater coverage, preventing UV rays from sneaking in around the sides of the lenses and keeping your eyes and skin even safer.
More tips for protecting your eyes from harmful UV light with sunglasses
Here are a few more important sunglasses tips to help ensure that you are able to protect your eyes from damage caused by the sun this summer.
Wear your sunglasses even in the shade. Many people are tempted to take their sunglasses off when they are in the shade. While being out of the direct sun will limit your UV exposure, it won’t fully protect your eyes as some rays can be reflected off the surfaces around you. Keep your shades on for total protection.
Sunglasses should be worn all year round. The sun emits harmful UV rays all year round, not just in the summer. In fact, some surfaces, like snow, can be particularly damaging since they reflect back the light and put you at risk of developing corneal sunburn, which can be very painful. Remember to wear your sunglasses on bright days all year round.
All skin types and eye colors require adequate UV protection. You may think that having darker eyes or skin could decrease the effects of UV rays. However, this isn’t the case. The risk of UV damage remains the same regardless of a person’s skin or eye color.
If you’d like more information on the best sunglasses for UV protection in 2020, our friendly and experienced eye care team would be delighted to help. Please don’t hesitate to call East Main Vision Clinic at 253-780-0700 to schedule an appointment.