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July 20, 2023

Safely soak up the sun: choosing sunglasses for good eye care

Protecting Your Eyes Is Easy and Affordable with One of Our Vision Service Plans

Sunglasses have long been perceived as the epitome of cool. Styles like clubmasters and aviators that originated in the 1930s and 1940s remain timeless classics today.

Like any eyewear, though, sunglasses are used for much more than a fashion statement. They provide invaluable protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

But with so many shapes, sizes, tints, and more out there, how do you know what sunglasses are the most beneficial for your eye care? So you can safely enjoy your fun in the sun this summer, we’re sharing what you should look for in a pair of shades.

How Sunlight Can Affect Your Eyes

Just as the ultraviolet light from the sun can damage your skin, it can also take a toll on your eyes. The more you’re exposed to UV radiation without adequate protection, the higher risk you place on your eyes’ corneas, tissues, and lenses.

Making sure your eyes are safeguarded from sun damage will help you avoid eye conditions like:

  • Cataracts: Cataracts refer to the clouding of your eyes’ natural lenses. While this problem is all but guaranteed in older adults, you can greatly increase your likelihood of contracting cataracts earlier as a result of excessive sun exposure.
  • Pterygium: Also called surfer’s eye, pterygium is an abnormal, noncancerous growth of tissue on the conjunctiva – the thin, clear membrane covering the front of the eye – that extends to the cornea. If it begins to cover the cornea, those affected can experience blurry or double vision.
  • Photokeratitis: Much like a sunburn on the skin, photokeratitis is caused by damage to the cornea due to unprotected UV exposure. While temporary, this eye condition can be quite painful depending on exposure levels.
  • Eyelid Cancers: Skin cancers – such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma – can develop on the eyelid and be directly linked to sun exposure. Symptoms may include a lump, lesion, inflammation of the eyelids, and loss of eyelashes.

In addition to proper eye protection, it’s a good idea to have a vision service plan in place, so you can rely on an eye care provider to help manage your eye health and catch any early signs of UV damage.

Shop Sunglasses with UV Protection

The biggest factor you should consider when picking out sunglasses is UV protection. Look for shades that fully protect against both UVA and UVB light. Sometimes this can be listed as UV400, meaning the lenses block out wavelengths of up to 400 nanometers.

If you have an old pair of sunglasses and are unsure if they offer enough protection, you can have them checked by a vision services provider with a UV light meter in under a minute. Most opticians will even do this for free.

What About Lens Color and Polarization for Eye Care?

Don’t assume that one pair of sunglasses is better than another based on color or polarization alone. If it’s not labeled with UV protection, it’s not going to do a whole lot of good at keeping your eyes safe from sun rays.

With UV sunglasses, lens color comes down to personal preference. Black, brown, mirrored, or something else, you can let your unique style shine as long as you’re getting the protection you need.

Polarization can enhance your comfort but won’t filter out UV light unless otherwise specified. The major benefit of polarized lenses is their ability to reduce glare on surfaces and increase clarity.

Opt for Sunglasses with Larger Frames

Both direct and indirect sunlight affects our eyes. It may not seem all that bright on a cloudy day, but UV light is still present.

Because light reaches our eyes from all directions – above, below, and on each side – getting sunglasses that provide more coverage can help optimize your protection. Take oversized or wraparound sunglasses, for instance. These styles take up more of your face’s surface area, ultimately doing a better job of preventing too much UV exposure.

vision services provider can also work with you to determine the right frames for your needs and face shape.

Take Advantage of Savings on Sunglasses with a Vision Service Plan

It’s time to prioritize your eye health and take proactive steps to protect your vision from damaging sources like the sun.

Vision Care Direct can help you save on both eyewear and eye care. A frame allowance is included in our Materials and Exam + Materials plans, so you can get the best in ophthalmic lenses without the high out-of-pocket costs of traditional vision insurance.

Standard eye insurance plan options are riddled with complexities and confusing wording, making it difficult to know exactly what you’re getting – and what you’re not. We’ve made it our mission to simplify our industry with vision service plans that just make sense. All our plans are easy to understand, flexible, and best of all, affordable.

In addition to individual member vision service plans, we partner with employersinsurance brokers, and providers to add value to their offerings, taking a truly comprehensive approach to accessible eye care.

To learn more about how you can benefit from our vision service plans, get in touch with our team. Call (877) 488-8900 or fill out the contact form on our website. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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