Why Sunglasses Are More Than a Fashion Statement


Why Sunglasses Are More Than a Fashion Statement

Styles of sunglasses may change each year, but one thing remains constant: sunglasses are key to protecting your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can harm the eyes and affect vision. Cataracts, one of the primary causes of vision loss in older adults, are linked to long-term exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.

Here are some tips from the vision experts at Lighthouse Guild to help you protect your eyes from sun damage.

Choose sunglasses carefully

Select only sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays and are clearly labeled 100% UV protection or UV400. Consider wearing wraparound frames that wrap all the way around your temples so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side. Don’t get caught up on the color of the lenses, the price tag, or the brand. The ability to block harmful UV light is not dependent on the cost or the darkness of the lenses.

Have your sunglasses tested

Not sure whether your sunglasses provide enough protection? Have an eye care professional test them with a photometer, an instrument that can gauge how effective the UV protection is on sunglasses.

Replace damaged sunglasses

Glasses that are scratched, damaged, or have faded tints may no longer be effective. So, replacing sunglasses every few years is a good idea.

Sunglasses are not just for the summer

Remember to wear your UV protective sunglasses whenever you spend time outdoors.

Sun damage to the eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in the summer.

And, while it may be tempting to skip sun protection on cloudy days, the harmful rays of the sun can pass through thin clouds and haze.

Wear a hat

In addition to sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your eyes.

Never look directly at the sun

Looking directly at the sun at any time, including during an eclipse, can cause damage to the retina of the eye from solar radiation.

Children also need sun protection

Young children and teenagers should also wear sunglasses and hats or caps to protect against the harmful rays of the sun.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage the eyes and cause vision loss later in life, says Dr. Susan Weinstein, low vision optometrist at Lighthouse Guild. Wearing well-fitted sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation is essential for protecting your eyes.


About Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild provides exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired attain their goals. We provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services. Our podcast series, On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts, offers information and insights about technological innovations that are tearing down barriers for people who are blind or visually impaired. For more information, visit Lighthouseguild.org.


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