Today more than ever, due to extended life expectancy, it's important to protect your eyes from the dangerous ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun. Prolonged accumulation of sun exposure can cause serious eye health conditions. A severe "sun burn" on the surface of the cornea, occurs from exposure to intense UV light, such as when boating, fishing, snow skiing, or sunbathing.Studies have shown that people exposed to years of UV light are especially prone to the following disorders:
Cataracts—a vision-clouding opacity of the lens of the eye.
Macular degeneration—damage to the central area of the retina called the macula. This is also the major cause of blindness of Americans over the age of 55.
Pterygium—An abnormal usually non-cancerous fleshy growth on the cornea.
Cancer—over exposure to UV can cause cancer of the eyelids and skin surrounding the eye.
With a pair of quality sunglasses, you can screen out the harmful
rays that can cause these serious eye health conditions outlined above.
Which sunglasses can effectively protect your eyes during your favorite outdoor activities?
Good sunglasses, such as Maui Jim or Oakley, should have a high optical quality and protect your eyes from glare and damaging ultraviolet rays.
You need to be concerned about two types of ultraviolet radiation: UV-A (315-380nm) and UV-B(290-315nm). UV-A can cause serious damage to the delicate seeing mechanism inside of the eye. Exposure to small amounts of UV-B over many years
is one cause of cataracts and may affect the retina as well.
If you choose to buy non-prescription sunglasses from a department store, make sure you give the glasses this little test before purchasing them: While holding the glasses at arms' length, look through them at a straight line in the distance, such as the edge of a door. Slowly move the lenses across the line. If the straight edge distorts, sways, curves, or moves, the lens is of poor quality and you should avoid them at all costs!
Polarized lenses reduce the glare from reflected light. This type of lens, is ideal for anyone who does a lot of fishing, water sports, or even driving.
Children need protection from the sun's damaging rays as well. It is quite likely that our children will live well into 90 years of age. It is important to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays with sunglasses which offer at least 95% UV protection. Anything less can be more harmful than no protection at all! Children's eyes are most vulnerable to UV injury. Remember UV radiation is the highest in the spring and summer.
Dr. Kirk Kvitle, and his knowledgeable staff can help you with all your sunglass needs.
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