Sunglasses

Sunglasses are Fashionable and Functional

While sunlight is a beautiful thing, too much of anything can be harmful. In addition to making a unique fashion statement, sunglasses are also functional and can prevent sun damage to the eyes to improve and protect vision.

From sunburn to skin cancer, almost everyone is aware of the damage ultraviolet (UV) radiation can inflict on their skin. However, very few understand the dangers of UV exposure to their eyesight. In fact, while more than eight out of 10 Americans know that extended UV exposure can cause skin cancer, fewer than one out of 10 know it can harm their eyes. Additionally, 20 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that UV damage is reversible.

Because so few people understand the detrimental effects of UV exposure, many aren’t taking the best steps to protect and preserve their vision. For example, less than half of Americans get a regular eye exam, which can be instrumental in detecting and preventing serious vision problems and eye disease. Additionally, more than four out of 10 people don’t wear UV blocking sunglasses during the winter months when UV rays are still a threat.

Sunglasses Quality Matters

Did you know that wearing an inadequate pair of sunglasses can be worse than wearing no sun protection at all? If a pair of sunglasses offers no UV protection, the wearer is actually increasing his or her exposure to UV rays. The inadequate sunglasses will block some of the light, causing the pupil of the eye to enlarge and allow more light in. This also lets in more UV light, increasing the amount of damaging light reaching the retina. Quality sunglasses are designed to absorb UVA and UVB rays. However, not all sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays, and therefore may not be effective in preventing sun damage to the eyes.

Considering the potential damage that UV exposure can cause to eyesight, everyone should be wearing lenses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Polarized Lenses Block Glare

Polarized lenses are helpful in blocking polarized light. This type of light is created by reflected light. When bright light bounces off of horizontal surfaces such as water, cars, snow, or the highway, it can cause intense glare. Bright glares make it difficult or impossible to see. Polarized lenses can be beneficial for certain situations, including driving, skiing, and fishing because they cut the scattered light causing a glare. Fishermen, for example, often use polarized lenses to help them see beneath the water and better locate fish. While most polarized lenses have built-in UV-blocking features, it is important to check the lens labeling to determine if the sunglasses offer full protection. Regardless of the type of sun protection chosen, the quality of the lens is important.  

Stop by to see us at Eye Care of Iowa to be sure your sunglasses provide 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. If they don’t, we can help you pick out a fashionable pair offer function and protection, too!

West Des Moines

East Des Moines

South Des Moines

Pleasant Hill

Ankeny

To our patients,

The safety and well-being of our employees and our patients is always our priority, and we recognize the important role we play in providing comprehensive eye care throughout the Des Moines area. Given the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within our community and throughout our nation, we are taking extensive measures to prevent any further spread of the virus. We are constantly monitoring this pandemic and will continue to look for recommendations from the American Optometric Association as well as our local Iowa branch.

To minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission, we are asking any patients with any cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, sneezing, or fever), have traveled outside of the United States, or believe to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to reschedule their appointments. Hand washing, social distancing, and self-isolation are still the best ways to prevent this virus from spreading more widely. We are committed to providing the best care to you and will continue to give you the best guidance we can.

We appreciate everyone's cooperation during this time and ask for your understanding if you are someone who is asked to reschedule your appointment to a later time.

Thank you again and be well!