You can pick up a cheap pair at your grocery store, splurge on a trendy pair at a stylish boutique, or get a serious pair from your eye doctor, but make no mistake — whichever pair of sunglasses you choose impacts your eye health for better or worse.
At Vision Corner in Houston, Texas, Dr. Sophia Barnes and our team see the consequences of poorly chosen sunglasses every day. The main reason for this is that most people select sunglasses based on how they look rather than how they affect their eyes and vision.
That’s a mistake we help our patients avoid. As an independent practice, we can spend more time with you each time you visit us. Dr. Barnes gets to know you, the lifestyle factors that affect your vision, and which eye health risk factors apply to you.
Sunglasses play a bigger role in eye health than most people realize. Here, Dr. Barnes takes a closer look at the many benefits of quality sunglasses.
The top benefit of sunglasses — protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays — isn’t surprising, but it may surprise you to learn that not all sunglasses protect your eyes.
In order to filter out the damaging UV rays, you need to wear sunglasses that block out 100% of them. If the pair you’re admiring in the store isn’t labeled as UV-blocking, you put your eyes at risk every time you go outside.
But the sun isn’t the only outdoor element that can harm your eyes. Wind, dust, and any other matter floating in the air around you can enter your eyes and damage the tissues and your vision. Sunglasses with good coverage keep these foreign particles at bay.
If you wear prescription eye glasses but switch them out for nonprescription sunglasses when you drive or participate in outdoor activities, you're operating with a handicap. We offer prescription sunglasses so you can see clearly in any environment.
Even if you have perfect vision and don’t need prescription eye glasses, going without sunglasses in the bright sunlight can make you squint or use your hands to shade your eyes — both of which can be hazardous if you’re driving or performing some other important task. In these cases, sunglasses not only keep your eyes safe, but they keep you and others safe as well.
Certain eye diseases are more likely if you expose your eyes to the sun. Here are a few examples.
If you don’t protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, overexposure can lead to photokeratitis or corneal sunburn, which inflames your cornea and can damage your retinas and lenses.
Cataracts are cloudy lenses that cause blurry or dim vision. Your lenses, like other body parts, tend to break down with age and lead to cataracts, but overexposure to the sun can cause cataracts to appear prematurely. Sunglasses can help you avoid them.
Too much sun can trigger the growth of raised bumps on your conjunctiva — the whites of your eyes.
Called surfer’s eye because these athletes are often exposed to a double dose of sun directly from the source and reflected off the water, the technical name is pterygium. In some cases, pterygium can change the shape of the cornea and distort vision.
Sunglasses are a key part of your recovery when you have LASIK eye surgery to get rid of cataracts or to correct your vision.
If you get migraines, sun and other sources of bright light may be one of your triggers. If so, sunglasses can protect your eye health and your overall health by preventing the onset of a migraine attack.
If you’re serious about protecting your eye health, skip the drugstore and come straight to Vision Corner. We offer a massive selection of optical-grade sunglasses and prescription eyewear. You can order here in our office or online at your convenience.
If you’re not sure which style or lens suits you best, we can help by guiding you through the options and performing an expert eye exam to make sure you choose the right pair for your eye health.
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