Protecting Your Eyes From Sun Damage

Sun Protection & Glasses:

Lathering on sunscreen to protect the skin from burns and permanent sun damage is something we all know to do.  The skin is not the only organ you need to protect though.  Just like the skin gets exposed, the eyes and the eyelids get sun damaged too.  So don’t forget about the eyes!

How To Protect The Eyes From Sun Damage:

There are many options here.  First, consider wearing a hat with a wide brim. Then consider protecting your eyes from UV damage with either glasses, sunglasses and/or contacts.  Then, ask us if the glasses, sunwear or contact lenses are adequately blocking the harmful UV rays.  Many do not.

What to look for in your glasses/sunwear/contacts to protect from UV damage?

The first thing you want to look for is lenses that block 99-100% of both UVA and UVB rays (UVA and UVB are just different wavelengths of light rays that can have different effects).

The next thing to consider is how large the glasses will be.  Will they block out the light from all angles that surround your eyes?  Remember if the lenses are very small, then the UV rays can still navigate around the edge of the lens and get into the eyes.

Also look for distortions in the lenses.  You can do this by holding them up, looking through the center at the edge of a door or a straight line.  Keep looking at the line while slowly shifting the lens to the sides and see if the edge remains straight.  If it doesn’t it is a distorted lens and probably poor quality.

Color/Tints are another important aspect.   Most sunglasses will come in brown or gray.  This usually comes down to a personal preference but if you are in a job that requires good color vision, gray is your best option.

Lastly, remember that the darkness of the lens does not indicate how much UV protection the lens will have.  There are clear lenses with full UV protection and on the other hand, there are tinted lenses that offer little to no protection.