You only get one set of eyes in a lifetime, so taking care of them is vital. With the beautiful sun of Florida comes the problem of too much exposure to UV rays. This not only has adverse effects on the skin, but it also can cause problems for your eyes. Having the right sunglasses protects your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

Who Needs Sunglasses?

In a nutshell – everyone does. The UV rays from the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes, even if you don’t have issues with the brightness. Photokeratitis, also known as snow blindness, is a temporary condition caused by overexposure to UV rays. It is an inflammation of the cornea, and it is painful. While its nickname, snow blindness, would indicate that the condition occurs when the sun is reflecting off snow, it can also occur on water and white sand beaches, both of which are also highly reflective of the sun’s rays. Having sunburnt eyes is only one problem.

Pingueculae can develop on the surface of the sclera. These non-cancerous bumps on the eyeball are a result of UV radiation from the sun. Older folks who spend a lot of time in the sun are particularly susceptible to this problem.

Retinal damage can also occur from too much exposure to the sun. The way to prevent these problems is to wear sunglasses that will protect your eyes. Glare and reflection from the sun can cause problems; thinking that you are safe on cloudy days is a mistake. UV rays go through clouds, so your eyes can sustain damaging effects on cloudy days when the sky is overcast.

People who take certain medications need to take precautions. If you’ve had cataract surgery, macular degeneration or retinal dystrophies, you need to protect your eyes.

What to Look for in Sunglasses

Your eyes will be protected when you get sunglasses that protect you at least 99 percent from UVA and UVB light. If the sunglasses are labeled UV 400 it means they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. This indicates that the sunglasses will block all UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound sunglasses are best because they provide the most protection for your eyes.

If you wear contacts, you may feel your eyes are safe because your contacts have UV protection. The truth is, they only cover part of your eye. Your entire eye needs protection, so you still need sunglasses.

Ask a Professional

There are a wide variety of lenses available. To get the best lenses for your eyes, it is best to speak with your eye doctor. Your optometrist can help you make the choice that will suit your circumstances. Particularly if you have an eye condition, you should consult an eye specialist to find out which sunglasses will keep damage from your eyes.

It is always a good idea to consult a qualified professional when it comes to health and safety. It’s also wise when you are faced with legal issues. Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., are known for excellence in legal matters pertaining to personal injury and business litigation. Call us for a complimentary consultation. With offices located in North Port, Englewood and Port Charlotte, we proudly serve residents of Southwest Florida.