Scientific studies tell us that spending long hours in the sun without eye protection can damage your eyes. Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight is linked to eye disease. Without realizing it, you increase your chances of cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on the eye, including cancer.
Today’s ophthalmologists recommend that you wear 99% and above UV-absorbent sunglasses and a brimmed hat whenever you’re in the sun for long periods of time. We often think this is for summer only, but exposure to the bright sun in the fall and the reflection off the winter snow is also very damaging.
When to wear sunglasses
Sunglasses should be worn anytime you are outdoors:
- Sunny days regardless of the season
- At the beach or in the water
- When participating in winter sports, especially at high altitudes;
- If using medications that can cause photo sensitivity.
What to look for when purchasing sunglasses
Sunglasses are designed to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful effects but they are not all created equal. Even though the labels on sunglasses promise protection from ultraviolet light and other kinds of natural radiation, it is important to make sure it says, “blocks 99% of ultraviolet rays (UVB radiation)”
Look for sunglasses that block 99% or 100% of all UV light. Some manufacturers’ labels say “UV absorption up to 400nm.” This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.
Styles for men and women
Large sunglasses are still the trend, which is good news for your eyes because the larger lens give you more protection. Aviator sunglasses, especially for men, are hot items through fall.
Styles that complement your face shape:
- Oversized rectangular frames always make a stylish statement on women with round faces.
- Aviators are the best choice if you have a heart-shaped face.
- Cat-eye designs are perfect for those with oval faces.
- Retro circular frames, favored by celebrities like Beyoncé, complement angular features.