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Summer

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 North Edmonton 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 Village Eye Centre in North Edmonton today!  

 

References 

https://biomedical-engineering-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12938-016-0209-7

 

9 Tips on How to Protect Your Eyes in the Sun

Bright advice from your North Edmonton, Alberta, eye doctor

The sun can damage more than just your skin, and your eyes are particularly at risk. Ultraviolet rays can lead to a variety of health problems, such as eye and eyelid cancer and photokeratitis, which is like a sunburn on your cornea. Overexposure to UV rays can also raise your chances of cataracts in the future. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to protect your vision. Our North Edmonton, Alberta, eye doctor at Village Eye Centre has prepared the following list:

1. UV Protection

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your retina and the lasting health of your eyes. That’s why it is essential to wear sunglasses that provide protection against 100% of UV light and hazardous blue light rays. Don’t be tempted into buying cheap low quality sunglasses, or your vision can pay a steep price. Take care to purchase your sunglasses from an optical store you can trust, and not from a trending department store at the local mall.

2. Introducing the E-SPF®3 index

Our North Edmonton, Alberta, eye doctor recommends purchasing sunglasses with lenses that have E-SPF®3, a gauge to measure UV reflections from the front and back surfaces of the lens. Ultimate protection for your eyes can be found in lenses with E-SPF® 50+, the highest level of the index.

3. Darker is not better

Ultra-dark sunglasses lenses prompt your pupil to dilate wider, which can allow a larger amount of UV rays and dangerous blue light to enter. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, very dark tinted sunglasses can actually be worse for your eyes over time.

4. Vision is for life – start with sun safety for kids

The effects of UV exposure are cumulative, and studies show that approximately 85% of UV damage actually occurs during childhood – before 18 ½ years old. This statistic is primarily to blame on the fact that most kids don’t wear sunglasses with adequate UV protection. When you purchase your kids’ wardrobe for sunny days, be sure to stop by your nearby optical store to choose a stylish, quality pair of sunglasses.

5. Sunglasses contact lenses put an end to squinting

Sunglasses are not always the most convenient eyewear for protecting your vision while you’re working up a sweat outdoors. They can slip down your nose, fog up, or accumulate water drops from the ocean spray. Other than squinting, how else can you limit the effects of the sun’s bright rays? Sunglasses contact lenses are a new, breakthrough solution. These dynamic contacts have Transitions technology that darken in response to UV rays, just like photochromic glasses lenses do.

6. Put on a hat

A wide brimmed hat is a fantastic way to keep your eyes in the shade, protected from the sun. Even if you always wear sunglasses when you head outdoors, you are leaving your eye area vulnerable to sun rays that can get in through gaps along the sides of your frames. A hat with a brim that’s at least 3 inches wide will eliminate those gaps.

7. Watch the clock

Be aware of when the sun is shines strongest and stay indoors during those hours. You may be surprised to learn that your exposure to the highest amounts of UV radiation is actually in the early morning hours and throughout the mid-afternoon – and not at noon, like most people believe.

8. The design of your frames matters

While most discussions about UV protection revolve around the type of lenses that are in your sunglasses, our North Edmonton, Alberta, optometrist points out that the style of your frames is also significant. Wrap-around sunglasses provide the most coverage for your eyes and sensitive skin that surrounds them.

9. Keep chemicals out of your eyes

Sunscreen is a staple for outdoor safety. However, if you get sunscreen in your eyes it can cause many painful symptoms, including redness and severe stinging. Take care not to smear large globs of sunscreen close to your eyes. Thicker sunscreen creams, as opposed to runny lotions that may drip into your eyes, are recommended for the facial area.

We sell a wide range of stylish premium sunglasses for adults and children – with full UV protection – at our North Edmonton, Alberta, optical store. Stop by anytime to take a look!

At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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Summer Heat Wave and Your Eyes

This summer, heat waves with scorching temperatures have hit communities nationwide, making an already hot summer even hotter. With high temps and heat waves in certain areas, it’s now more important than ever to protect yourself.

For best practices and tips for maintaining healthy vision in the summer heat, talk to the Village Eye Centre.

How Can Heat Affect Vision?

Staying out in the sun too long can give you a sunburn and make you feel exhausted. Did you know that it can affect your vision, too?

If you get dehydrated, lack of moisture can make it hard for your eyes to naturally produce enough tears, which can contribute to seasonal dry eye. If you already have dry eye, extremely dry heat can exacerbate your symptoms of itchy, red, sore, and irritated eyes.

Do you sit in front of a fan or air conditioning system? That may feel great, but it can also contribute to dryer and less comfortable eyes.

To give your eyes some temporary relief, keep artificial tears on hand. If your eyes still feel dry or uncomfortable, contact Village Eye Centre.

If You Love the Sun, Read This

Golden sunshine may sound dreamy, but too much isn’t a good thing.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be very harmful, and your eyes are no exception. UV radiation, which can gradually contribute to eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Dr. James Evans recommends that you always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light blocking protection. There’s no shortage of trendy and sunglasses, designed with a flair for fashion, so you won’t have to compromise on style while protecting your eyes from dangerous UV rays.

Excessive sun exposure can cause headaches, blurry vision, eye pain, and eyestrain. So while you’re out at the pool, hanging out at the beach, sunbathing, or at a backyard barbeque, pay close attention to how much time you’re outside.

If you love the sunshine, you just need to protect yourself. Wear hats, sunscreen, and, of course, 100% UV protective polarized sunglasses. But if you experience discomfort or symptoms that don’t go away on their own, then it’s time to visit your eye doctor.

Computer Vision Syndrome in the Summer

There’s nothing quite like a family road trip or flying to a vacation getaway over the summer. Yet something about being stuck in the backseat of a car or inside of an airplane makes kids feel closed in and restless. It’s then that many kids will play on a smartphone, iPad, or gaming device over many hours to help pass the time.

When it comes to kids and computer use, they’re just as susceptible to the effects of digital eye strain, also called Computer Vision Syndrome, as adults are. In fact, studies show that 25% of children spend more than 3 hours each day on digital devices.

In the summer, when the heat is sizzling, it’s tempting for kids to spend more time than usual watching TV, using a computer, or playing games on their smartphones. To help ease the effects of digital eyestrain, Dr. James Evans suggests following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away. It’s a great way to counteract the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome and let the eyes rest.

This summer, however you choose to beat the heat, don’t forget to protect your vision and keep your eyes strong and healthy. The Village Eye Centre is always here to help if you have any questions.

Have a great summer!