Do you know how to select the optimal UV protection for your eyes? We often have patients asking for our expertise, and the correct protection is of particular importance right now during these summer months. July is UV Safety Month, and an excellent opportunity to walk through what UV protection is, how you can make the best choices for your own protection, and how your ophthalmologist can support you through the decision-making process.
What is UV Protection?
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the radiation energy produced by the sun. UV rays – including UVA and especially UVB – can damage the eye’s surface tissues, cornea, and lens. Over time, this type of damage can lead to a multitude of eye diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration.
In order to properly protect against UV damage, it is important to first and foremost seek out 100% UV protection. When purchasing sunglasses, as an example, look for a tag or sticker that states this level of protection from all UV light. Some labels also refer to this level as “UV absorption up to 400nm”, which is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.
Choosing the Proper UV Protection
We’ll focus on selecting the proper sunglasses as it relates to eyes and UV protection. Factors to consider, along with 100% UV protection, include:
- Darker sunglasses do not always mean they offer more UV protection…that is why the 100% label is of critical importance!
- Polarized lenses reduce glare, but do not block UV rays
- Larger lenses provide more eye protection against sun damage. Consider purchasing oversized or wraparound-style sunglasses to prevent UV rays from entering the sides of glasses
- Colored lenses do not matter and don’t block out more or less sun. Choosing a color based on personal style is a great option, as long as the proper UV protection is included
Following these guidelines will help to ensure that the proper sunglasses are selected for maximum UV protection.
Partnering with Your Ophthalmologist
Schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist today or, if you have an upcoming appointment already scheduled, consider talking with your ophthalmologist about how you can best protect your vision during the summer months. At ReFocus, our expert team is committed to providing customized guidance and recommendations to ensure you find the fit, style, and protection that is right for you. Get started with our team today to protect your eyes and vision for years to come.