Are you tempted to buy a pair of stylish sunglasses to sport the latest trends- probably. Most of us own a few pair of great sunglasses, but we also own a few pairs of not so great sunglasses as well. Who wants to spend big bucks for a trendy pair that will break in a month? Not me, but if you don’t pick the right pair of sunnies you might be doing yourself more harm than good. I called up one of the Leading Eye Experts, Dr. Richard Norden to get the scoop on protecting one of our most precious possessions. The eyes.
Q: Can sunglasses really slow down the aging process and really protect the eye area?
A: Sunglasses are the first line of defense from the summer sun, but not just any sunglasses will get the job done. Most quality sunglasses have adequate (95-100 percent) UV light protection and do the trick. For that reason, they should be worn at all times while outdoors (even on a cloudy day). The problem with inexpensive sunglasses is that they block out light which allows your pupils to dilate (get larger) and since the cheap sunglasses don’t filter out UV light, they actually allow more UV light to enter your eyes through the larger pupils.
Q: Are there any particular styles that are better than others?
A: Sunglass lenses should be as large as possible without affecting the quality of the prescription, and wraparounds are especially helpful as well. Check with your eye doctor and optician. It’s also been shown that brown or green-colored lenses are more effective at filtering out UV light than gray-colored lenses.
Q: Are there any brands you recommend?
Q: Can you explain about polarized lenses and if we should buy them too?
A: Polarized lenses are great at reducing glare as they only allow in rays of light that are parallel to the ground; they’re a good choice for skiing and boating. They don’t reduce UV light, but most polarized lenses have UV blocking in the glass as well.
Q: Good to know, any downsides to the lenses?
A: The one downside to polarized lenses is that it makes it difficult to see LED displays (like in your car’s dashboard) because LED displays have their own polarized lenses in them to allow the displays to be seen without glare as well. When you pit two polarized lenses against each other, you lose the ability to see the displays!
Additionally, to protect against UV light, which can cause all of the aforementioned skin cancers, it’s helpful to wear a wide-brimmed hat and apply a sun block with at least a SPF 15+ rating to the eyelids.