Why Do We Need (Good) Sunglasses?
Sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by the sun. Most lens materials used for clear glasses have UV protection built into them, which is great news! However, this doesn't change the fact that squinting is often required to see comfortably outside during the day when just wearing your clear glasses.
UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by the sun and can be harmful to human health, particularly to the eyes. If you are exposed to UV light for extended periods of time, it can increase the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. While both conditions can be treated, they can sometimes have lasting effects on people's vision. Not only can long-term UV exposure harm your eyes, but it can also harm the skin surrounding them, potentially causing skin cancer as well as premature aging around the eyes. (Nobody wants that)
To protect your eyes from UV light, it is recommended to wear sunglasses that provide plenty of wrap to shield the sun from multiple directions and offer 100% UV protection. This will help to reduce the amount of UV light that enters your eyes and reduce your risk of developing eye conditions. Polarized lenses have the added benefit of reducing glare from the sun off of horizontal surfaces. Be mindful that polarized lenses are mostly great, but please discuss your profession and how your sunglasses will be used with your optician so they can decide if polarized lenses are right for you.
In addition to sunglasses, wearing a hat can also help to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. By combining sunglasses and a hat, you can provide your eyes with the best possible protection from UV light.
One final piece of good news is that since sunglasses are considered a medical device, you can use your HSA and Flex Spending card to purchase them even if they don't have prescription lenses. This means that if you have any leftover money in either of those accounts, you can use it up on some great sunglasses that you can wear confidently knowing you're protecting your peepers.
It's also worth noting that not all sunglasses are created equal. It's important to buy your sunglasses from a professional rather than just grabbing a pair from a drug store or gas station. While drug store sunglasses may look cute and be plenty dark, they don't have to meet the same standards as official sunglass brands sold in optical shops that require FDA approval.
I would love to remind everyone that anytime you buy a complete pair of glasses from Taylor Eye Care, you will receive 30% off any pair bought after that. I suggest utilizing that on a pair of prescription sunglasses next time we see you!
Morgan DiMaggio, CPOA