Whether you’re at the beach or playing sport, working in the garden or driving to the mall, sunglasses are a must-have for summer, of course. But, the danger lies in thinking of them as a summer accessory.
Sunglasses should be an investment in protecting your peepers. Those freebie shades or trendy specs may be keeping you in the dark about their hidden health risks.
Here are three reasons to ditch those cheapies for good…
• Cheap sunglasses don’t block ultraviolet A-rays (UVA) and Ultraviolet B-rays (UVB). Exposure to these rays can damage the retina and cause problems such as cataracts. In fact, inferior lenses will allow more UVA and UVB light into your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all.
• Cheap sunglasses don’t filter out intense light. Exposure to strong light for a prolonged period can cause squinting, eye strain and even headaches. Brown-tinted lenses are best for clear vision—grey-tinted lenses are your best all-purpose bet.
• Cheap sunglasses don’t prevent glare. When you’re near water, reflection may cause distracting brightness or shadowing. Polarised lenses will eliminate glare from the water as well as increasing visibility when driving in extreme sunlight.
What are UVA and UVB?
The sun is a natural source of ultraviolet light, which is invisible to the eye. While the earth’s ozone filters out the most aggressive rays, two harmful types are a concern for skin and eye health: long wave UVA rays and short wave UVB rays.
Both can cause cumulative damage through long-term exposure. High quality lenses, such as those with UV400 protection, can eliminate 97-100 percent of UV rays.