Most of us are diligent about using sunscreen when we go to the beach on a sunny day, but do you always protect your eyes? Just like your skin, eyes can suffer cumulative damage from ultraviolet light.
What are the risks?
Not wearing the proper sunglasses can put you at risk for:
- Pterygium: abnormal but usually non-cancerous growth on the eyes
- Corneal burning, or photokeratitis, which is temporary but painful
- Corneal degenerative changes
What can you do to protect your eyes?
If only all health tips were this simple: wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays. Check the tag of the sunglasses you are considering to make sure they offer this level of insulation. If the tag doesn’t mention UV protection, or says “cosmetic” these will not shield your eyes. Larger lenses will offer the most protection while also safeguarding the delicate skin around your eyes and your eyelids, and wrap-around sunglasses provide excellent protection from any UV light that comes from sideways exposure. Gray colored lenses reduce light intensity without changing the colors you see, so they offer the most natural looking view.
What about style?
All of the most popular brands offer sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Ray Ban, Maui Jim, WileyX, Oakley, and Jimmy Choo are among the trendiest and most stylish makes that offer UV protected products. You can even convince your teenager to protect his eyes with these “cool” sunglasses. This is especially important as children and teens are more susceptible to UV damage, because the lenses of their eyes are more transparent. So this summer and all year long, do your eyes a favor and look great at the same time!