The Importance of Sunglasses and Eye Health

With summer just around the corner, we all know how harmful the sun’s rays can be for our skin, but did you know they are just as bad for our eyes? While sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, their most important role is to protect our eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sunglasses can block UV radiation and reduce your risk for potentially blinding eye diseases and tumors, but they’re also great at preventing dust, sand, and other airborne particles from getting into your eyes.

When going out and looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses, make sure you look for lenses that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation. By purchasing these sunglasses, you will be able to cut back from squinting which keeps your eyes healthy and your vision sharp. While it’s important to always have your sunglasses on while exposed to sunlight, it is also just as important to have sunglasses on your children as well. Children and teens also need to protect their eyes from the sun. VSP optometrists say we get 75-80% of our UV exposure before we turn 18. It’s especially important that kids wear sunglasses from an early age.

According to the National Eye Institute, some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include:

Cataracts: a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. An estimated 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.

Macular degeneration:  resulting from damage to the retina that destroys central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Pterygium: a tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism.

Just remember, by wearing sunglasses that offer effective protection against harmful UV rays, you can enjoy the outdoors while protecting your eyesight. Laser Locators proudly provides ophthalmologists around the world with the medical equipment needed to correct the damages caused by UV light to our eyes. From lanes to lasers, Laser Locators can provide all the tools for a bright and safe summer.