Sunglasses (Including Prescription Sunglasses)
Don’t forget the sun defense!
Everyone should have a good pair of sunglasses to provide not only comfort on a sunny day, but also defense against UV light.
The Problem with UV Light
- UV light is invisible, high-energy light that can cause damage to the retina (the back layer of your eye that detects light). It can advance cataracts or lead to worse conditions such as macular degeneration later in life.
- By the time you are in your 20s, you’ll have absorbed 80% of the the total UV light that your eyes can handle. In other words, there’s lots of UV light out there and we really should be protecting ourselves from it because there’s not much that we can tolerate.
How Do Sunglasses Help?
Sunglasses block UV light, but regular clear prescription glasses can do that too with special coatings. So why do we need sunglasses? Well, a few reasons:
- Firstly, sunglasses are BIGGER. They cover the whole eye including the sides where light often sneaks in from behind your frame, especially from reflected surfaces. Ever had a tan in the winter? Light reflecting upward from the snow can still carry damaging UV to your eyes from underneath your regular prescription glasses!
- Secondly, aside from specifically blocking UV, sunglasses help just by blocking light overall. Even without the UV component, a bright sunny day is still harsh on the eyes, leading to eye strain, fatigue, dryness and headaches.
- If you opt for polarized sunglass lenses, the protection is even better as the bright and harsh glares from surface reflections are drastically reduced.
What about Transition Lenses?
- If you’re back-and-forth from indoors and outdoors a lot, a photochromatic lens (sometimes called “Transition” lens) may be for you. Once you get outside, the ambient UV light changes your lenses from clear to dark.
- This is a great option for getting two types of glasses out of just one frame, or if carrying around separate sunglasses just isn’t practical for you.
- Keep in mind! Transition lenses will never be as dark or as comfortable as a regular pair of polarized sunglasses. That doesn’t mean they’re not amazing, it’s just that they are not a FULL substitute for a good pair of sunglasses.
Look for UV400!
- UV protection for our eyes is easily accessible! Even your local drugstore will carry sunglasses that block out UV light. (Just look for the UV400 logo or sticker).
- They may not be comfortable or last long, and they’ll definitely scratch easily, but they WILL get the job done! So whatever the budget may be, make sure UV400 protection is on the shopping list!