This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Vision Council and The Motherhood.
I wear sunglasses all the time. Most of the time they are on top of my head. (It’s a style thing.) Lately, I have noticed that my kids have been keeping them on their head too. This is a start considering the fact that if I wear them, they will wear them. And, this is super important considering the harmful effects of not wearing them. Dora Adamopoulos, OD, active member of The Vision Council’s Better Vision Institute, the Medical Advisory Arm to The Vision Council, reminds us to set a prime example by always wearing your own shades. So I am off to a good start!
This past Memorial Day weekend was filled with a variety of weather. Overcast and rainy to outright beautiful on Monday. There were plenty of opportunities to wear our sunglasses in style.
While exercising, walking in a parade, hanging in the backyard or going to a sprinkler in a local park, we were ready to go with our sunglasses. I am thinking about buying some more so that a lost pair is not a reason to go without.
Why is UV Protection Important?
Short-term vision problems:
Photokeratitis (sunburn of the eye)
Hyper sensitivity to light
Long-term vision problems:
Premature aging of the skin; wrinkles and sunspots
Prerygium (abnormal growth on the eye and eyelid)
Cancer of the eye, eyelid and surrounding skin
Facts about UV exposures:
72% of U.S. adults report that they wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun
A study by The Vision Council revealed that only 60% actually wear sunglasses outside
48% of U.S. adults report that they make their children wear sunglasses to protect eyes from UV damage
UV damage is cumulative; the older someone is and the more exposure they’ve had to the sun will result in being more at risk for serious and debilitating vision problems
Researchers actually believe that lighter eyes experience more UV damage and that’s likely due to the fact that they have a lower incidence of melanin – which is a protective pigment
Children receive three times the annual sun exposure of adult
By the time an individual turns 18, he or she will have acquired nearly 80% of lifetime exposure to UV
How to Protect Your Eyes:
Wear UV-protective eyewear (UVA & UVB) as often as possible
Clip-ons or fit-overs
UV-coated contact lenses
To know if your sunglasses filter out UVA and UVB, first look for a sticker or label on the lens or frame that indicates protection. If you don’t see a sticker or have an older pair of sunglasses, you can bring them to an eye care professional who can test them using a UV meter
Dr. Adamopoulos advises to not buy from online auction sites, street vendors, or second-hand stores
Getting Sunglasses That Fit Your Lifestyle:
Darker lenses don’t necessarily mean better protection
Brown, amber and copper lenses work to reduce glare and improve contrast for activities like driving, golfing, water sports and snow sports
Grey tint is popular because it distorts color the least
Yellow and rose tinted lenses enhance definition which can be helpful if your driving in fog or haze
Gradient tints, which have a gradual change in color from the top down, cut overhead glare and provide clearer vision when looking down or straight ahead
Polarized lenses absorb light from horizontal surfaces which can be particularly helpful when driving
Anti-reflective lenses work extremely well at blocking reflected light from water, snow, concrete and even grass
Sunglasses For Children
Make sure the sunglasses fit your children comfortably. Sunglasses that pinch or are scratched are less likely to be worn
Set a prime example by always wearing your own shades
Style might play a role; have them pick out a pair they like and they may be more prone to wear them
Quality doesn’t necessarily translate to high cost
If your children are particularly prone to losing items, consider buying shades with a plastic frame, which can be less expensive than metal frames
Q&A with Dr. Adamopoulos
Q: What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?
A: UVA rays account for up to 95% of UV radiation, and while less intense, they are much more prevalent than UVB rays. UVB rays are more prevalent on cloudy days and in high altitudes and are highly reflective off of snow and ice. The bottom line is that they are both damaging, so sunglasses need to protect against each.
Q: How do you make sure you’re keeping kids’ eyes safe while they are swimming at the pool? Do they make goggles with UV protection?
A: Make it a habit to have them put on sunglasses as soon as they take a break from swimming. They do make goggles with UV protection, and they should be easy to find in normal sports stores.
Q: Do transition lenses protect the eyes enough or should sunglasses be used instead?
A: Transition lenses definitely protect. The only thing transition lenses don’t do is cut down on the glare. Also, keep in mind that if glasses are too small then you aren’t protecting enough of your eye area.
Q: Are cataracts genetic?
A: Cataracts are more of an age issue. If you have enough birthdays, you’re going to get cataracts. The question is how soon you want that to happen. Cataracts are now starting to bother people younger as we spend more time on the computer, driving, being outdoors.
Q: Do they make contacts with UV protection?
A: They do make contacts with protection, however they don’t cover the entire eye. It only covers the central portion, and the white part of the eye and eyelids are still exposed.
Q: Can you trust UV stickers? My daughter has a pair of sunglasses from the Disney store.
A: If they have that sticker, you really can. Every reputable store has to go by the American National Standard Institute regulations.
For more resources and fun activities: www.thevisioncouncil.org
Ellen Christian says
Great reminder of how important this is!
Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired says
I attended this webinar too and found the information so helpful. We wear sunglasses as often as we can and in fact, could even wear them more. After attending this I will be sure we wear them even more often and that they all have the UVA/UVB sticker.
I am always wearing sunglasses outside and I think it is so important to show our kids too! Great post!
I’m actually getting ready to purchase some new shades and didn’t know a lot of this, so thanks.
Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says
Great info! And thanks for the reminder to get sunglasses for my kids.
maria @stayclosetohome says
I try so hard to remind my kids to wear their glasses. It is pretty scary knowing what damage can be done.
Kristin Barclay says
Great tips, I wear my sunglasses all the time, but I have a hard time convincing the kids to keep theirs on.
I think sometimes we forget that they’re more than just a fashion accessory. Great reminder!
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
You’re so right about cost not necessarily translating to quality. Besides, don’t we all tend to lose them or break them awfully quickly?
So much important info. I knew about some of the health risks, but a lot of them were new to me. I keep two pair of UV sunglasses just in case and always have a pair with me.
Jessica @Bkeepsushonest says
This info is so great… we often forget that UV rays can cause permanent damage to our eyes. I just got UV protection sunglasses for my kids for the 1st time.
Ben Recinos says
I’m going to start wearing sunglasses again!