Tips for Choosing Sunglasses
Choosing sunglasses isn’t just about style. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB light, as well as tips if you have macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
With summer comes sunshine, and with sunshine comes exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and white-hot glare. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shades, keep eye protection and comfort — and not just style — in mind.
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Some research suggests that high-energy ultraviolet rays from the sun can harm vision later in life. Excessive UV exposure may damage the macula, the area in back of the eye that helps transmit pictures to the brain. The risk is greatest if your eyes are light-colored.
To best protect your eyes, ophthalmologist Rishi Singh, MD, recommends:
Direct sunlight can be too bright for comfort as we age and our pupils grow larger and more sensitive to light. For the best vision when you’re driving, Dr. Singh recommends:
Prescription eyeglasses — particularly those with polycarbonate lenses — provide some built-in UV protection, says Dr. Singh. Lenses that automatically darken when you go outdoors protect against both UV rays and glare.
An optometrist can help you choose the right sunglasses for you. Once you buy them, remember to wear them regularly, notes Dr. Singh — on your nose and not on your head.