Sunglasses have become an indispensable fashion item. In the summer, they also play an important role in protecting the eyes from serious injuries: corneal burns, lens cataracts and eyelid tumors. May you be healthy and beautiful.
Sunglasses have long become a must-have item in the personal wardrobe of each and every one of us.
The sizes, shapes, shades, colors and the multitude of brands push us to sometimes buy more than one pair of glasses per season, and not necessarily from the same manufacturer.
Danger to the eyes
But beyond the fashion edict, “health considerations are what should play a central role when we come to buy sunglasses. The public is very aware of the fact that exposure to the sun is dangerous for the skin, but most of the public is not aware of the fact that exposure to the sun is also dangerous for the eyes. The ultraviolet (UV) rays in the sun’s rays are also harmful to the eyes.”
There are two types of ultraviolet rays that have a destructive effect on the eyes:
Type A ultraviolet rays – have a long wavelength that cause tanning of the skin.
Type B ultraviolet rays – have a short wavelength and greater penetration. They are more dangerous, cause skin burns and are related to the development of skin cancer.
However, excessive exposure to the sun’s rays can cause burns not only to the skin but also to the eyes.
“Our eyes have partial natural protection against the sun’s rays,” says Prof. Geyer, “however, overexposure to the sun can damage vision. Today, humanity is more exposed to the sun’s radiation due to the reduction of the ozone layer that surrounds the earth, which filters the sun’s rays.”
The damage to the eyes from the sun can be caused not only when sunbathing in the sea. The intensity of the sun’s radiation is maximum even when it is reflected from the snow, the ground or the water and even from the pavement. The sun can cause temporary damage to the eyes and even permanent damage to vision
Sun damage can cause various eye diseases:
Burns – overexposure to the sun’s rays can cause a temporary but very painful burn on the cornea. Burns of this type can appear a few hours after skiing or after sunbathing in the sea. Directly looking at the sun can cause a permanent burn in the retina , the tissue that sees in the eye.
Cataracts – exposure to the sun over years can cause the development of cataracts , the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. People who have undergone cataract surgery are more exposed to eye damage from the sun, because the artificial lens implanted during the surgery only partially filters the sun’s rays.
Pterygium – Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause tissue growth on the surface of the eye, which may block vision. If vision is affected, surgery is needed to remove the tissue.
Macular degeneration – this disease affects the central area of the retina, the macula . At this point, visual acuity is the best, and damage to it will interfere with daily functioning. This disease is one of the main causes of blindness in the Western world and in Israel. It mainly affects adults over the age of 50. Studies show that the disease is related to prolonged exposure to the sun.
Cancer of the eyelids and the skin around the eyes – can be caused by prolonged exposure to the sun
Is it better to tan at the salon?
Definately not. The radiation absorbed from tanning devices is greater than that absorbed from the sun and is very dangerous for the eyes. That’s why those who tan with this method must wear eye protection.
“Sunglasses are designed to reduce visible glare to a comfortable level and to reduce harmful ultraviolet (UV) light,” explains Shimon Rusek, an optometrist who owns an optics store in Kfar Saba.
“Good sunglasses reduce the visible glare to a comfortable level, block most of the ultraviolet light, do not distort the vision, transmit the colors with minimal or no change, they are comfortable and durable.”
Rusk adds that regular sunglasses do reduce brightness, but they do not block glare. The glare is everywhere – it is concentrated reflected light coming from the suns of cars, from water, from snow, from sand, from roads and from any other surface, and it is blinding and painful. Even on cloudy and cloudy days there is a glow.
The glare is effectively blocked by polarized lenses. One of the first things you notice about polarized lenses is the reduction in squinting. The contraction causes eye fatigue and tension. On top of that, the glare has a cumulative harmful effect.
Many vision problems commonly associated with night driving are not only due to the reduced ability to see at night, but also from the late effect of exposure to glare during the day.
Polarized lenses give dynamic vision, higher brightness, greater depth of field and more vital colors. The polarization, according to the definition, means that the glass goes through a process that aligns its molecules in one direction, thereby neutralizing the refraction of light and considerably reducing the visible glare. By removing the reflection of the glare, the goggle component gets a clearer image and a wider field of vision – above and below the water. The manufacturing process of polarized lenses involves inserting a layer of polarizing film between two thin plastic or glass lenses.
Going to buy glasses?
Here are some rules that will help you pass the task successfully:
1. Be careful with a label that indicates protection against ultraviolet rays. There is no uniform label for all glasses manufacturers. Therefore, you should be aware of what is written on the label and make sure that there is full protection (at a rate of 99-100%) against type A and B rays.
2. The glasses should be large and close to the eyes to prevent the penetration of the sun’s rays from the sides and above.
3. It is important to know for what purpose you need the sunglasses: for everyday use (for example, for driving) or for sports activities. Surfers in the sea or skiers, for example, need glasses with particularly high sun filters.
4. Prevention of glare. The lenses of the glasses must be polarized to prevent glare.
5. The importance of lens color. Contrary to popular belief, the effective sun protection of sunglasses does not depend on the color of the lenses. A poor quality lens, even if it looks dark, can seriously endanger the eyes. The reason: such a lens significantly reduces the amount of visible light – which causes the pupils of the eyes to expand. When the pupils of the eyes dilate, the eyes are less protected, so they absorb more harmful rays.
6. The price of the glasses. An expensive price is not a guarantee that the glasses protect against the sun’s radiation. The price of the glasses is usually determined according to the fashion statement and not only according to the quality of the glasses.
7. The place of purchase. It is advisable to avoid buying sunglasses at street stalls or beach stalls as these do not always pay attention to quality products. As highlighted, low-quality glasses can cause greater damage to the eyes than walking without sunglasses. The reason: when walking in daylight without sunglasses the pupils shrink to protect the eyes. When wearing low-quality sunglasses, the pupils dilate (as happens at night) and allow maximum penetration of the harmful rays.