The sun produces many different kinds of light, and the most likely to injure your eyes are ultraviolet, called “UV rays“. When eyes are overexposed to ultraviolet radiation, the front portion of the eyes may become damaged.
When your eyes absorb light, the process creates heat or chemical reactions in the eye tissue. These reactions can cause permanent damage if the eye’s natural ability to heal itself is overwhelmed. Properly chosen sunglasses will protect your eyes against damage from UV rays.
Make sure your lenses are dark enough to keep your eyes comfortable, and that you wear your sunglasses every time you go outside. Just like wearing sun screen, a hat and staying hydrated, wearing your sunglasses should be part of your sun healthy lifestyle.
You can’t tell how much UV protection a pair of sunglasses will provide by their price, colour, or the darkness of the lenses. Instead, look for a label that lists the type and amount of protection.
Different lens tints filter out different wavelengths of light, so choose your tint based on need:
• Green—Allows true color perception and good contrast in bright light; reduces eyestrain in bright light.
• Gray—Allows true color perception, but does not enhance contrast; good for cycling or running.
• Brown—Good in hazy sun, enhances contrast; good for high-glare environments.
• Amber—Brightens cloudy, hazy, or foggy skies; excellent for contrast; minimizes eyestrain; distorts color (images look yellow-orange).
• Yellow—Improves contrast and depth perception in low light; good for overcast days.
• Red—Excellent depth perception in low light; contrast objects against blue or green backgrounds.
• Mirrored—Reflects high-intensity light to reduce glare; available in various colors.
When purchasing sunglasses, make sure you read the label. You want to look for 99 or 100 percent UV protection, and sunglasses that are close fitting to the face to prevent UV rays from filtering in.
Don’t be misguided by price: higher priced sunglasses usually reflect fashion, and not UV protection. Remember that dark-colored sunglasses don’t necessarily provide better protection because the chemical coating applied to the lens responsible for UV protection is clear.
Protect your eyes whenever you go outside, no matter how briefly.