Sun Damage is Real
Sun protection is important all year round, not just in the summer when the sun seems to be at it's brightest. "UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays, can damage the eye's surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens," says ophthalmologist Michael Kutryb, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers UV light can pose."
Some of the dangers can include:
- Cataracts and cancers of the eye
- Pterygiums and other eye growths
- Photokeratits, also known as snow blindness
The best way to avoid these eye problems is to wear a good fitting UV400 sunglass, but how do you know you are getting what you need?
Choosing a Safe Sunglass
Unfortunately, sunglasses and UV Protection are not fully regulated in Canada or North America. This means you can literally slap a sticker on anything that says it is 100% UV protected, whether it actually is or not! There is also inferior forms of UV protection in lenses as well. An optically ground sun lens will have its UV Filters built right into the center of the lens material. Most of the sunglasses you can get at the drugstore, or gift shop are what's called "punch-cut" lenses. These are not optically ground, and come in one big sheet where the lens shape is punched out of it en mass. These lenses tend to have aberrations or distortions in the vision, and most likely have their UV Filter sprayed as a coating on top of the lens material. This means that any minor surface scratches, which we all know are impossible to avoid, will no longer have that UV protection offered.
If you have a pair of sun lenses that you are questioning, your local optician should have a UV meter at their disposal, for which the percentage of UV protection can be read. Most opticians will not have any issue with testing your sunglasses for you!
If you have had custom prescription lenses made, you need not fear. Most prescription lenses now come with UV protection built in, regardless of any tints, filters or polarizations! You can always check with your optician to be sure yours are no exception to this.
We Recommend Maui Jim Sunglasses
When in doubt, you can always just go with the tried and true UV protection of Maui Jim sunglasses. They have the best technology for vision including spectral control and bigradient mirrors, and have received the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation for UV filters and protection. They are the only sunglass that protects 100% against UVA, UVB, UVC and radiation.
To stay up to date on all the on goings of Maui Jim Sunglasses, new models, new technology and eye health tips, check out the Maui Jim blog over here!
More information on Sun damage to the eye can be found on the American Academy of Ophthalmologists website here.