Science of sunglasses, the sunscreen for your eyes
The summer sun may seem to be shining brighter, but before going outside make sure your eye protection is actually protecting you.
UV radiation from natural sunlight can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea.
UV light produces DNA changes in the eye that can lead to skin cancers on the eyelids and premature aging of the delicate skin around your eyes.
It’s summertime, the perfect time for some fun in the sun. But you need to protect more than just your skin.
“I don’t think most people think about either the exposure of sun, oftentimes they’ll think about on body or their face but maybe not around the eyes.
Unfortunately, the skin around your eye is some of the most vulnerable both in terms of just sun damage but also in terms of developing cancers,” George A. Cioffi, MD, Ophthalmologist at Columbia University, told Ivanhoe.
Not wearing sunglasses can also cause cataracts, abnormal growths called pterygium macular degeneration, and skin cancer around the eyes. But how can you make sure the glasses you are wearing are protecting your eyes?
“They should actually wrap around a bit,” George A. Cioffi, MD, shared fun frame shapes are cute, but don’t always cover your entire eye. And darker doesn’t always mean better.
“A dark pair of glasses may be your preference doesn’t mean you have great UV protection,” George A. Cioffi, MD, explained.
Look for a UV protection level of 95 to one hundred percent. And just because your glasses are expensive, doesn’t mean they are protective. Cheap, no-name glasses can be effective if they have the label.
Sunlight can have positive effects, as long as you protect your eyes from UV damage. You need a little natural light every day to help you sleep well because the light-sensitive cells in our eyes play an important role in our body’s natural wake-sleep cycles. Spending time outdoors in the sun can also help prevent nearsightedness in kids. Spend some time with them outside, just don’t forget those sunglasses!