It’s National Sunglasses Day!

Summer is here, and out comes the sunscreen to protect us from the harsh sun that can cause painful sun burn. We can’t put sunscreen in our eyes but we can wear our UV A and B polarized sunglasses to protect our eyes from the harmful Ultra-Violet Rays.
.
Today we worry a lot about the sun causing premature wrinkles from sun damage. The same sunlight that burns your skin also enters your eyes through the pupil and causes harm to your intra-ocular lens and retina. Consequently, cumulative sun exposure starting from childhood through adulthood can contribute to early cataract and macular degeneration. If you have taken preventive measures to limit your sun exposure early on in life by wearing sunglasses, then you’ve delayed and minimized the chances of having early cataracts or macular degeneration. Kudos to you!!
 .
It is never too early or too late to wear sunglasses. If we spend so much money on special anti-aging creams and skin lotions to defy aging, we should really invest in a good pair of sunglasses for eye protection.
.
Here are a few interesting facts:
.
  • People living closer to the equator have a higher incidence of cataracts because the sun is closer to earth.  Therefore, UV exposure is higher.
  • Similarly, living at higher altitude exposes you to higher UV levels light.
  • At the beaches or on the snow slopes, we get sun from above but also from sunlight bouncing off the sand or snow into our eyes, thus giving us a double dose of UV light.
  • Kids are especially more at risk for too much UV light because kids have larger pupils than adults. Larger pupils among children can easily mean receiving three times Uv light compared to adults 40 of age. Additionally, kids tend to spend more time outdoors than adults who are indoors working. Remember; it is never too early to wear sunglasses.
  • The best sunglasses are the polarized polycarbonate lenses with a backside Anti-Reflective (“AR”) coating.  Maui Jim and Oakley brands are some of the better sunglasses. The larger the frame, the more protection. You do not want to have too much of a gap between your face and the sunglasses. The greater the gap, the more sunlight is creeping through. Don’t have the sunglasses too close to your face either as you may start fogging your lenses.
  • The best sunglasses not only depend on the quality of the sunglasses, but also on how they fit on your face. So choosing a pair of sunglasses from a magazine or internet will never be as good as trying a pair with the guidance of an optician.
.
Dr. Alan Limfat, O.D.
.
.