Sunglasses and their Importance

Sunglasses and their Importance

These days, almost everyone has a pair of sunglasses. They have become a staple in our wardrobes, primarily for making a fashion statement, or shielding our eyes from the sun. In fact, sunglasses often play such an important role in our daily lives and activities that most of us never leave the house without them.

However, many people are unaware of the risks that come with excessive unprotected ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun. Chronic unprotected exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays increases the risk of developing eye diseases, such as eye or eyelid-related cancers, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. Additionally, intense one-time unprotected exposure to UV rays can burn the cornea causing damage and extreme pain. Outdoor enthusiasts are particularly at risk for acute and chronic UV damage because snow, sand, and water can reflect the sun’s rays and increase the intensity of UV exposure. Proper sunglasses or goggles not only help to reduce the risk of developing UV-related eye diseases and conditions, but they can help to make your vision more comfortable and functional when you’re outdoors.

When looking for your next pair, consider the following pointers so you end up with a pair of sunglasses that are both fashionable and functional:

    • Choose sunglasses that can block 99% – 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
    • Use polarized lenses while driving, fishing or golfing as they are the most effective in blocking glare.
    • Choose wrap-around or larger sunglasses to shield your peripheral vision from the sudden glare of reflective surfaces.
    • Price not always an indicator of the quality of UV protection.

Some companies have made a notable impact in the world of sunglass design and development. For example, Maui Jim is a pioneer in sunglass design and has created the PolarisedPlus2 lens that offers 99.9% glare reduction and 100% blockage of UV rays. Not only are these lenses are ultra-thin, lightweight, waterproof, and scratch and shatter resistant, they also provide colour enhancement allowing you to see the world in vivid detail. Meanwhile, Oakley Inc. has developed HD Polarized lenses to provide the advanced glare reduction that elite athletes need, but they have made that technology available to everyone. Ray Ban is another noteworthy company that offers revolutionary design and technology in their sunglasses. Their innovative mirror lenses not only reduce glare but are also lightweight, enhancing your level of comfort. My Optometrist Calgary carries all of these brands and more!

Lastly, if you have little ones at home, make sure that their eyes are protected too. Children receive most of their lifetime sun exposure before the age of 18, so it’s important to teach them sun safety at an early age. At My Optometrist Calgary, we have lots of sunglasses for little faces, so make sure you ask us about them at your next visit!

Dr. Danielle
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