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Why You Regularly Need to Replace Your Sunglasses

Did you know that sunglasses, or at least sunglass lenses, regularly need to be replaced? 

According to a study conducted at the University of São Paulo, the UV protection that sunglasses provide deteriorates over time. You may adore your current ones, but if you’ve been rocking those shades for two or more years, it might be time to get a new pair. 

In addition to the UV-blocking properties, anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings wear down, and the frame material may become brittle over the years, too. Even if you have the most durable sunglasses available, regular lens-replacement is the best way to ensure that your vision is maximally protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. 

UV Light and Sunglasses

The protective efficacy of your sunglasses comes in large part from the lens coating of dyes and pigments that reflect and absorb ultraviolet radiation. They create a barrier that prevents UV radiation from penetrating your eyes.

However, this protective coating can, and often does, break down over time. Wear and tear can cause an invisible web of tiny abrasions, compromising its UV-blocking power. Furthermore, the protective dyes and pigments aren’t able to absorb UV rays indefinitely; the more sunlight they’re exposed to, the more rapidly they’ll become ineffective. 

A pair of shades worn on occasion and in mild conditions is likely to remain effective longer than a pair that is heavily used in a more intensely sunny environment. For example, if you spend long days on the water paddling, kayaking, or canoeing, the protective coating on your lenses will deteriorate more quickly than it would if you only wear your shades to go grocery shopping or sit in a cafe. 

Why It’s Important to Protect Your Eyes From UV

Protecting your eyes from the sun is critical no matter where in the world you are, as UV exposure places you at risk for developing eye diseases like eye cancer, pterygium, and pinguecula — which can result in disfigurement and discomfort — as well as cataracts and macular degeneration — which cause vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.

Even short-term overexposure can result in photokeratitis, a corneal sunburn. Symptoms include eye pain, swelling, light sensitivity, and temporary vision loss. Some people experience it when spending too much time boating or skiing without wearing eye protection. Snow and water can increase solar exposure because they reflect sunlight toward your face.  

What to Look for When Getting New Sunglasses

When choosing new sunglasses, make sure they’re labeled 100% UV protection or UV400. Although most pairs sold in the United States and Canada offer this degree of protection, it’s still worth confirming before making the purchase. Keep in mind that factors like cost, polarization, lens color, or darkness don’t have much to do with the level of UV protection. Even clear prescription lenses can be UV protective. 

It’s important to note that there is a lot of counterfeit sunwear in the marketplace. This is dangerous since counterfeit eyewear may not provide much-needed ultraviolet protection. So if the price of a renowned brand is too good to be true, it’s probably a fake. 

The size and fit of the sunglasses is important. Bigger is definitely better if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Larger wrap-around eyewear is best if you regularly ski or spend many hours in the water, as this style blocks light from all directions. 

To find out whether it’s still safe to wear your favorite shades, visit a Westchester, Los Angeles eye doctor to determine whether your lenses still offer the right level of UV protection. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss prescription sunwear. 

For more information about UV safety, or to get the perfect sunglasses tailored to your vision needs and lifestyle, contact Family Eyecare Center of Optometry in Westchester, Los Angeles today!  




UV Safety Awareness Month

July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and that is not surprising! With the summer season sun out and the hottest time of the year, it’s now more vital than ever to safeguard your eyes from hazardous UV rays.

Throughout this month, individuals who have actually experienced UV ray damage, their families and friends should be motivated to share their experiences and suggestions. Utilize the hashtag #UVSafetyAwareness on your social networks channels to support others in your neighborhood.

Did You Know?

It isn’t just your skin that’s at risk, it is also your eyes. When your cornea is exposed to too much UV radiation, a condition understood as keratitis can occur. UV radiation can likewise trigger little growths on the white part of your eye, which are called pterygium and pinguecula. They not only look bad, they can grow on to the eye and make your vision worse.

If you experience any of these signs, call Dr. Ashcraft for an appointment to check them out.

UV ray direct exposure is a danger aspect for eye conditions and illness. In 20% of cataract cases, cataract development has actually been connected to UV ray damage. It’s important to be mindful of UV ray direct exposure, particularly if you or a household member are in this age group. This is also another reason that you need to wear a good quality pair of UV protected sunglasses all the time when you are outside.

Just What Are UV Rays?

You might have heard about UV rays without understanding what they really are. UV stands for ultraviolet light. They are an invisible part of sunlight, the same rays that cause sunburn.

Why Are UV Rays Dangerous?

Too much sun direct exposure, however, can trigger early aging in the skin, burns in the eye, and might even alter the shape of your cornea and cause other major eye damage, leading to vision issues. It’s even more unsafe for more youthful individuals, specifically kids, due to the fact that kids’s lenses are more transparent and transfer UV rays more quickly. So kids get more UV exposure.

If you are experiencing vision or eye issues give us a call. We can help. Routine eye examinations are crucial for keeping your vision healthy, particularly throughout the summer season.

UV Safety Can Go a Long Way

The good news is, it’s quite simple to safeguard yourself from long-lasting direct exposure to UV rays. Take a look at our leading three UV safety tips:

  1. Put on Those Shades

Anything less than that will not protect your eyes from damaging rays. Do not worry, there are plenty of fashionable sunglass styles, so you’ll protect your eyes without compromising style.

  1. Sunscreen and More Sunscreen

Use sunscreen prior to going outdoors and make sure it has an excellent SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number. UV rays can reflect off water, so if you’re hitting the swimming pool or beach, take additional preventative measures.

  1. Use a Hat for More Protection

Protect your head and the skin on your scalp with a hat. A wide-brimmed hat is best, considering that it likewise safeguards the tops of your eyes which may not be shaded by your sunglasses, and is too delicate for sun block. For the fashion-conscious, there are unlimited designs to select from, so shop!

Throughout this UV Safety Awareness Month, we encourage you to share your stories and successes.