The skin around the eyes is the thinnest in the body, making it highly susceptible to developing various conditions. Too much sun exposure can greatly damage not only your skin, but also your eyes. With summer bringing stronger ultraviolet (UV) rays, you may be at a higher risk of developing short- and long-term eye damage.
Wearing good quality sunglasses is an excellent defense from the harmful UV effects. To help you find the right pair, your optometrist discusses some things for which you should look.
You may develop photokeratitis or eye sunburn from UV overexposure. This involves inflammation of your cornea that may lead to blurry vision, light sensitivity and a gritty sensation in your eyes. Thickening and yellowing of your conjunctiva and drying of your eyes may also happen. Pterygium or “surfer’s eye”, a fleshy growth that covers part of your cornea, may form when you’ve been under the sun for too long. Cataracts and macular degeneration have been linked to constant sun exposure, too.
This is why the most important factor to consider when buying sunglasses is their ability to protect your eyes from UV rays. Your eye care specialist suggests choosing sunglasses that have a tag or sticker showing 100% UV Protection or UV 400. This means the pair can block all light rays with wavelengths that go up to 400 nanometers. This covers both UVA and UVB rays.
Sunglasses with bigger lenses are not only stylish, but they also provide better eye protection. The wider lens area provides more coverage, which means your eyes won’t get exposed to the sun’s rays as much.
Sunglasses with wraparound-style frames are a good choice. They prevent UV rays from entering your eyes through the side.
Lens Tint and Color
A common misconception when it comes to sunglasses is that the darker the lenses, the better UV coverage. This is not always the case. It’s still best to look for that label showing 100% UV Protection or UV 400. Lens color doesn’t affect this factor. Brown, yellow or rose lenses may enhance contrast, but not necessarily block UV rays.
For reliable eye care, turn to Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry. Apart from quality eyewear, we also provide complete eye exams, sports vision training and LASIK eye surgery co-management. Call us today at (703) 660-9494 for Alexandria, or complete our form to learn more about us and our services. We serve Alexandria and nearby Virginia areas.