Sunglasses are a summer essential for many, but what do you really know about them? Do you know how sunglasses protect your eyes? According to experts, sunglasses protect your eyes by blocking out UV rays and reducing the amount of light that enters the eye.
This can help prevent vision problems down the road. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of sunglasses and how they protect your eyes. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the right sunglasses for your need and other eye diseases.
The Dangers of UV Rays and Blue Light
UV rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause severe eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems. UV rays can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer around the eyelids.
“When you don’t wear protection, ultraviolet radiation you cannot see is penetrating the eye, and the eye structures are very sensitive to it,” says Dr. Rebecca Taylor, a Nashville ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Blue light is another type of harmful light that is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and televisions. Like UV rays, prolonged exposure to blue light can cause eye damage and disrupt your sleep patterns.
“Most of us blink less when looking at screens, causing eye strain and dry eyes”, says Rahul Khurana, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
How Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes
Sunglasses protect your eyes by blocking out both UV and blue light. High-quality sunglasses should block out at least 99% of UV rays and 85% of blue light. They also reduce glare, which can cause discomfort and strain on your eyes.
So, ensure your sunglasses provide the best protection by looking for a label that states they offer “100% protection against both UVA and UVB” or “100% protection against UV 400.” Older sunglasses may not give the same level of protection, as most modern glasses come with UV protection embedded in their lenses.
Different Types of Sunglasses Lenses
There are several types of sunglasses lenses to choose from, each offering different levels of protection and features. The most common types of lenses include:
- Polarized lenses: These lenses reduce glare by blocking out the light that is reflected off of flat surfaces such as water, snow, and glass.
- Photochromic lenses: These lenses darken automatically in bright light and lighten in low light.
- Mirror-coated lenses: These lenses have a reflective coating on the outside of the lens, which reduces glare and makes it easier to see in bright light.
- Gradient lenses: These lenses are darker at the top of the lens and lighter at the bottom, which is useful for outdoor activities such as running and skiing.
Choosing the Right Sunglasses for Your Needs
When selecting sunglasses, think about what you need from them. Polarized lenses are a great option if you spend time outdoors on the water or snow. For those who often transition between bright sunlight and indoor lighting, consider photochromic lenses.
Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement; they play a critical role in protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays, blue light, and glare. By choosing the right type of sunglasses for your needs, you can ensure that your eyes are protected and you can enjoy the beautiful outdoors with confidence.