Sunglasses are not a luxury... they are a medical necessity. In fact, Health Canada officially endorses the use of sunglasses to help protect your eyes from sun damage and the potential harmful effects of UV radiation. Chronic or acute overexposure to sunlight may increase your overall risk of developing conditions such as age-related macular degeneration or cataracts as you age.
For patients who have already been diagnosed with a vision condition such as age-related macular degeneration or cataracts, sunglasses may help to improve overall visual function. This is achieved by reducing the suns overall intensity and by reducing or eliminating glare.
Sunglass lens options include:
- Tinted lenses – reduce the overall intensity of the light
- Polarized lenses – reduce or eliminate glare
- Photochromatic lenses – reduce the overall intensity of the light, and transition from clear to dark when exposed to UV radiation
- Mirrored finishes – reflex sunlight reducing the overall amount of light being transmitted through the lens
Not all sunglasses block light equally, so it’s important to talk to your optometrist about what to look for when choosing your next pair. Depending on your lifestyle, one pair of sunglasses may not be enough. Many patients choose to purchase one pair of fashion sunglasses for driving and general outdoor activities and a second pair of sports sunglasses for golfing, biking, running, etc.