As Americans are planning spring and summer vacations, many planning on visiting Palm Beach County, will be contemplating purchasing a new pair of sunglasses. The American Optometric Association (AOA) reminds buyers to be sure their favorite sunglasses provide quality protection from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. You probably know that too much exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn and skin cancer. But did you know UV also can harm your eyes?
When you are performing your daily sun protection regimen, do not just stop at applying sunscreen. Make sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a visor or brimmed hat to further shade your eyes from the sun. It is a simple step that can make a world of difference in your eye health! Extended exposure to the sun's UV rays has been linked to significant eye problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis.
To be sure your sunglasses will adequately protect your eyes, follow these tips from the American Optometric Association:
- Be sure your sunglasses block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B rays. While some contact lenses also offer UV protection, these should be worn with sunglasses to maximize protection.
- Your sunglasses should screen out 75 to 90% of visible light.
- The frame of your sunglasses needs to fit close to your eyes and contour to the shape of your face. This prevents exposure to UV rays from all sides, even from behind.
- Pick lenses that are perfectly matched in color and are free of distortion and imperfection. The lenses should also have a uniform tint, not darker in one area from another.
- The AOA suggests a gray tint, which is particularly helpful when driving as it offers the best color recognition.