Sunglasses: What Kind, What Color, and Why Do I need To Wear Them No Matter What?
Last year, my optometrist friend told me that it is crucial that I wear sunglasses for many reasons. I don’t like glasses on my face, but she converted me. She took me to her store and gave me along lecture on why I need them. I will summarize for you.
First of all, I have retinitis pigmentosa , which is a retinal degenerative eye disease. RP, like macular degeneration and many other disease processes make eyes very sensitive to light. Sunlight can actually increase the progression of some eye conditions, and can also damage perfectly healthy eyes. This reason alone was enough to convince me to buy a pair of glasses for myself.
She told me the most important feature is UV or ultraviolet light protection. It is essential that your glasses filter 100 percent of ultraviolet rays, and must be labeled accordingly. This designation will not necessarily increase the cost of the glasses.
The second feature is the color or tint of the lenses. The orange/amber tint is the most protective and is the best for people with macular or retinal degenerative conditions. Some people do not like these for various reasons, and they choose the next best, which is brown/tan shade. This is what I chose. The brown tint made my eyes feel more relaxed than the orange ones. You need to try different shades to find what works best for you. Make sure you try them on in actual sunlight.
Third is polarization. This feature is not a must-have, but it really makes a difference if you are especially sensitive to glare. I find that my eyes actually relax when I am wearing my glasses. Polarization can also make your vision seem sharper in some cases. It is worth the extra money.
My optometrist friend also offered mirrored lenses. She said they can offer a little more protection but you really need to like the look of them. I found that they cut down on my vision. Sunglasses can have the mirror feature without UV protection so be careful when buying.
The last thing to think about is the shape of the glasses. Wrap arounds are the most protective. I find that they do not impede my visual field. They are more comfortable for me as well, and they look cool too.
Sunglasses are not just for protecting vision. People who are totally blind and people with prosthetic eyes can benefit as well. Over exposure to sunlight can damage the very sensitive tissues around the eyes. I don’t know about you, but I hate sunscreen near my eyes so sunglasses are a better alternative. They keep wrinkles from forming and more important, they significantly reduce the chances of skin cancer around the eyes.
Sunglasses do not need to be super expensive. You can find good ones in a drug store. You absolutely must check them out carefully though. I think of my glasses as an investment in my health. I do not skimp on my glasses nor my shoes. We can talk about shoes another time. I can get pretty wound up about shoes too. Smile
If you do not have your sunglasses yet, it is time to get them.
Good health to you,