How Sunglasses Can Protect Your Eyes

Overexposure to the sun can cause irritating effects like bloodshot eyes, swollen eyes or hypersensitivity to light. Photokeratitis, or “sunburn of the eye,” can also happen.

Unfiltered light can damage not only the cornea but also the lens of the eye, the skin of the eyelid and the retina. This can lead to growths on the eye, early cataract formation and macular degeneration.

Aging can increase your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration as a result of UV exposure. Once people have had cataract surgery — which is often performed between ages 50 and 70 — the risk increases even more.

The use of sunglasses may help to reduce the likelihood of damage, but it depends on the pair you pick and how you wear them.

Here are some eye protection tips:

  • Be a stickler for UV blocking Consider the shape
  • Don’t let the tint fool youOpt for “polarized”
  • Realize they’re not just for sunny days Choose quality over brand name
  • Wear them over contacts
  • Apply sunscreen around eyes or wear a hat as well
  • Avoid looking directly at the sun

Source: American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

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