FY(eye): 80% of our memories are determined by what we see.

Your eyes are very sensitive instruments that require care similar to the way you would protect and nourish your skin. Like your skin, your eyes are negatively affected by too much exposure to the sun and toxins. In addition, both your eyes and skin require vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy and happy.

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most important step when it comes to maintaining healthy eye sight. In fact, sunglasses are just as important for eye protection as sunscreen is for the skin. While the danger of over-exposure to sunlight on the skin receives a lot of attention, the risks of eye damage and other resulting vision problems are often overlooked.

Fortunately, the right sunglasses are all you need to protect your eyes from UV-related damage. A good pair does not necessarily mean the most expensive glasses in the store. Instead, pay close attention to the level of UV protection that your prospective lenses provide.

When you shop for sunglasses, make sure they have a label indicating 99-100% UV Protection or UV 400. If there isn’t a label like this, it’s best to keep shopping. Sunglasses that are identified as “cosmetic” should definitely be avoided.

In addition, be aware that the tint or color of the lens has nothing to do with the level of UV protection. Dark lenses may look safer but this isn’t always the case. Glasses with light lenses designed for the best UV protection will keep your eyes healthy while ones with dark lenses and low UV protection won’t help to protect your eyes.

The shape of your sunglasses is also essential for the best eye protection. Choose a pair with a shape that covers your entire eye and doesn’t allow UV light to get in through the sides.

Even if your contact lenses offer UV protection, you should still wear sunglasses since the a contact lens don’t protect the entire surface of the eye. Putting on your sunglasses before you go out will eventually become automatic if you work on developing this habit and your eyes will thank you for it.

Your eyes actually risk exposure to dangerous UV rays whenever you’re outdoors, even on overcast days. While clouds provide shade, they don’t serve as a barrier to UV light. For additional protection, you might want to consider wearing a hat, especially one with a broad brim. Why not look stylish and protect your eyes at the same time?

Nowadays, most people have become diligent about covering their children in sunscreen before going to the park or beach. The same care should be extended to your little one’s eyes by making sure they wear sunglasses at the beach or whenever they will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

This resource is only a guide and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on a website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call a doctor, dial 911 or go directly to a hospital Emergency Room (ER).

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

All About Vision

American Optometric Association

Glaucoma Research Foundation

WebMD

Virtual Medical Centre