I’d think it’s safe to say that nearly every North American has purchased a pair of sunglasses from the corner store or pharmacy at some point in their lives.
But let’s get real: you get what you pay for. Those shades may look like they will protect your eyes and should them from the sun’s rays, but they do very little – almost nothing – to keep your eyes safe.
Ultraviolet rays (UV rays) from the sun are no friend to your eyes. They can actually damage all of the structures of your eye. Corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration are all possible chronic effects of UV exposure that can ultimately lead to limited vision and boost the risk for blindness.
These rays can also lead to growths in and around the eye.
The best way to protect your eyes from this damage is to purchase sunglasses with 100 percent UV ray protection. These lenses will block the UV rays from reaching your eyes and help preserve vision and eye health.
Of course, frames offering 100 percent UV protection will cost far more than the $10 – $20 pair off the rack at the corner store. But the additional cash is worth it when you think about A) how they will protect your vision and B) that you likely won’t have to replace them as often.
Although UV-blocking lenses are the best way to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, there are other ways. Here are some others:
-Wear a hat along with sunglasses. Wide-brimmed hats are the best.
-Be aware that clouds don’t block UV light. Rays can pass through haze and clouds.
-Never look directly at the sun.
-If possible, avoid being outdoors during midday when the sunlight is strongest. Try to be inside between 11 AM and 2 PM if you can.