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Sunglasses are a must-have accessory for many people, especially during the summer months. They provide a stylish and practical way to protect your eyes and the surrounding skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. However, not all sunglasses offer the same level of protection. In this blog, we'll go over some basics to do with sunglasses and what to look for when choosing a pair.

How can UV Rays Affect Your Vision?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, UV radiation from the sun is the leading cause of cataracts, which are the clouding of the eye's natural lens. In the United States, cataracts are the most common cause of blindness and visual impairment. In addition to cataracts, UV radiation can also cause other eye problems such as macular degeneration, pterygium, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea).

Furthermore, the American Academy of Dermatology states that the sun's harmful UV rays can also cause skin cancer on the eyelids and around the eyes. The incidence of eyelid and periocular skin cancer has been increasing in recent years. It is important to protect your eyes from the sun's UV rays by wearing sunglasses.

What Should I Look for When Choosing Sunglasses to Ensure They Protect My Eyes From UV Rays?

When choosing sunglasses, it's essential to look for lenses that offer 99-100% UV protection or UV 400. This ensures that the lens will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays getting through. Keep in mind that the tint of the lens does not necessarily indicate how much UV protection it offers. A darker lens may be more comfortable to the eye, but it may not provide the same level of protection as a lighter lens.

How do Polarized Lenses Differ From Regular Lenses in Terms of UV Protection?

Polarized sunglasses are a popular choice for many people as they reduce glare, especially when you're on the water or in the snow. However, just because a lens is polarized, it doesn't mean that it offers UV protection. It's essential to look for lenses that are labeled with the same UV protection labels mentioned above. Speak with our optician to learn more about the different lens options available.

What are the Benefits of Children Wearing Sunglasses and how can I Find a Pair That Fits Them Well?

Wearing sunglasses is important throughout your whole life, but it's particularly crucial for children. Studies show that by the time you're 18, you will have received almost 80% of your sun exposure throughout your lifetime. Children are often outside more, and their eyes are more susceptible to UV rays, so it's essential to protect them. Choosing sunglasses that fit children's faces and are comfortable for them to wear can be a bit challenging, but it's worth the effort to protect their eyes.

How Can People Who Wear Prescription Glasses Protect their Eyes From UV rays?

If you wear prescription glasses, you can still protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. There are several options available, including prescription lenses that provide UV protection, prescription sunglasses, clip-on sunglasses, and cocoons that fit over your prescription glasses.

Get superior care when you schedule an appointment for UV protection at our trusted optometry clinic in Olympia, serving patients from the surrounding areas including Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey. Call (360) 491-2121 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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