While most people purchase sunglasses based on how they look, we feel that how they protect your eyes from UV radiation is more important from a health perspective. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy a snazzy pair of sunglasses; it just means that there is more to a pair of sunglasses than how they look.
UV radiation (often referred to as UV rays) can have a significant impact on your health, and on your eyes in particular. Many people understand how too much sun can damage your skin (and contribute towards skin cancer and other conditions), but a surprisingly large number of people don’t have the same understanding with respect to how UV radiation interacts with your eyes.
There are three types of UV rays:
UV light occupies the part of the spectrum that is just outside our ability to see. It’s also important to remember that UVA and UVB rays can pass through clouds, meaning that sunscreen and sunglasses are important even on cloudy days.
Sunglasses are rated based on the wavelengths of UV light that they block. For example, if a pair of sunglasses are rated as “UV 400”, this means that they block rays of light up to 400 nanometres. Sunglasses rated for “UV 400” block between 99 and 100% of UV rays on both the UVA and UVB spectrum.
We recommend that you invest in a high quality pair of UV 400-rated sunglasses for maximum protection.
In addition to UV protection, many sunglass lenses protect your eyes in other ways. While the list below is far from complete, it outlines some of the more common types of protection offered by different types of sunglass lenses.
We carry today’s most popular brands – like Maui Jim and kate spade new york – in a variety of styles and lens options. We have locations in Red Deer, Rimbey, and Rocky Mountain House (click here to find our locations). Come check us out!
Dr. Lampard graduated from optometry at Pacific University in Oregon in 1981. He and his wife Lorraine have three grown children, all born and raised in Red Deer. Tom enjoys cycling, curling, cross country and downhill skiing, and golfing. He also keeps busy volunteering for the United Way, has been a chairman of the Alberta College of Optometrists, and director of the Alberta Association of Optometrists.More Articles by Tom Lampard