The Importance of UV Protection and Prescription Sunglasses

Most of us are aware of the harm UV radiation can do to the skin, but many may do not realize that exposure to UV radiation can harm the eyes, the skin around the eyes, and affect vision.

Scientific studies and research show that exposure to UV radiation, whether short term or long term, will increase the risk of the following eye conditions:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Pingueculae and Pterygia
  • Melanoma
  • Photokeratitis

Since it is not clear how much exposure to solar radiation will cause damage, the American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection.

To provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. In addition, the lenses should be free of distortion and imperfections, which are often found in traditional sunwear sold at supermarkets and department stores.

If you wear eyeglasses, you should strongly consider wearing prescription sunglasses. While maintaining clear and comfortable vision, these custom-made sunglasses will reduce glare, squinting, eyestrain and watering of the eyes. Prescription sunglasses will also improve your ability to drive in bright conditions and enable you to enjoy longer hours outdoors. Keep in mind, the sun is more harmful during winter months because it is closer to the earth, but prescription sunwear is really a year-round necessity. 

Don’t forget UV protection for children and teenagers. Studies have shown that 80% of UV exposure to the eyes occurs before the age of 18. Be sure to see your Optometrist every year. It is a good way to monitor your eye health, maintain good vision, and keep track of your UV protection needs; as well as new advances in eye protection.

Instead of picking up a cheap pair of sunglasses at a random store, it is better to talk with your eye doctor about the right pair of glasses for your individual needs. Here at Village Eyecare, we offer different sunglasses to help you keep your eyes protected. Contact us to learn more about the options that are available.