Written by Julia King, O.D.
Board Certified Optometric Physician
With the dog days of summer upon us, it is more important than ever to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Exposure to UV radiation has been linked to eye damage and diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia, and photokeratitis, which can cause temporary blindness. You can minimize these risks by wearing the proper UV-blocking lenses.
According to the American Optometry Association, to provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should:
- Block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
- Screen out 75 to 90% of visible light
- Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection
- Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition
It is best to opt for wraparound sunglasses or close-fitting sunglasses with wide lenses to block light from all angles. You should consider polycarbonate or Trivex material if you participate in eye-hazardous outdoor work or sports. These lenses provide the most impact resistance. Also, it is important to protect the eyes of children who typically spend more time outdoors.
Polarized lenses are great for reducing glare and are beneficial for those who participate in outdoor activities such as fishing, driving, shooting, or skiing. Polarized lenses work by blocking horizontal light that can cause glare such as light reflected off water, windshields, or other surfaces. Polarized lenses are available in a variety of colors to optimize clarity for different activities.
At the Eye Specialists of Mid Florida we have a large selection of sunglasses and polarized lenses including Costa and Oakley. Be sure to stop by one of our offices to determine which frames and lenses best suit your needs. Be safe this summer and keep your eyes protected!