What you need to know....
There are three kinds of UV radiation:
UV-C: absorbed by the ozone and posing little or no threat to your eyes
UV-B: absorbed easily by the cornea (clear front covering of your eyes) often responsible for sunburn and snow blindness
UV-A: easily transmitted to the crystalline lens and back to your retina - putting you at risk for premature cataracts and early Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). Note that ARMD is the number one cause of blindness in the over 60 population.
What can you do to ensure adequate protection?
- UV exposure and by extension damage begins early and is additive - don't forget your children. Because of their large pupils and clearer crystalline lenses, they are much more vulnerable.
- Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays (look for UV 400 protection)
- Be sure to choose eyewear that fits comfortably and offers adequate coverage
- Take special care to protect adequate for sports activities (i.e skiing: snow reflects a whopping 80% of UV radiation).
Is price of your sunglasses of any consequence?
Maybe. Sunglasses made of lower quality materials compromise your optical quality. Try this test: focus a vertical line thru the sunglasses and look for any "wiggling" of the line. This could be an indication of an optical defect in the lenses.
Does polarization add to UV protection??
- This is a frequently asked question by our patients...and the answer is NO.
- polarization is a feature of certain of sunglasses which are designed to reduce glare by preferentially filtering out light rays reflected off horizontal surfaces (i.e pavements, bodies of water, etc). These are of course great for those of us who spend a lot of time by the water and or sensitive to glare while driving in the daytime.
Our optical at Lunettes du Monde Optometry in Berkeley carries a wide range of prescription and non-prescription high quality sunglasses with full UV protection,both with and without polarization. We carry Maui Jim, Ray Ban, and a variety of sunglasses lines.