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Are You Ready For Summer?

As we gear up for summer, it’s crucial to remember that sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement. They serve as a vital barrier against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, shielding our eyes from potential long-term damage. So, are you ready for summer with your UV-protective sunglasses?

Why UV Protection Matters

Ultraviolet (UV) rays, invisible to the naked eye, are a constant threat, even on cloudy days. Prolonged exposure to these rays can lead to severe eye conditions, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and even skin cancer around the eyes. This is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. 

  • Cataracts: Clouding of the eye’s lens, causing blurred vision and requiring surgery in severe cases.
  • Macular Degeneration: Damage to the central part of the retina, leading to vision loss.
  • Photokeratitis: Sunburn of the cornea, causing temporary pain, redness, and sensitivity to light.

Like you wouldn’t go outside without sunscreen, protecting your eyes from UV rays is vital for maintaining good eye health.

Features to look for in sunglasses

When it comes to UV protection, not all sunglasses are created equal. By knowing what to look for, you can make an informed choice and protect your eyes effectively. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  1. UV Protection Label: Look for a label that says “100% UV protection” or “UV400.” This indicates the sunglasses block all UV rays up to 400 nanometers, which covers both UVA and UVB rays.
  1. Lens Material: Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses naturally block UV rays without additional coatings. Standard plastic (CR-39) lenses can offer UV protection, but a UV-protective coating is recommended for optimal coverage. Glass lenses also require a UV coating.
  1. Wraparound Styles: Larger frames and wraparound styles provide more coverage around the eyes, reducing the chance of UV rays sneaking in from the sides or top.
  1. Don’t Be Fooled by Color: While darker lenses may seem more protective, UV protection comes from a special coating, not the lens tint. Choose a lens colour that provides comfort and suits your style.
  1. Polarised Lenses:  While not essential for UV protection, polarised lenses can be a valuable addition. They reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water, snow, and pavement, making them ideal for driving, boating, or outdoors.

Eye on Style and Safety

Sunglasses come in a wide variety of styles and materials. When choosing a pair, consider your needs and preferences. Do you prioritise sporty functionality or a classic look? Will you be wearing them for everyday use or during specific activities?

The most important factor, however, is ensuring they offer complete UV protection. At Oakes Opticians, we advise following these tips to find sunglasses that keep your eyes safe and stylish all summer. We offer a wide selection of quality and fashionable sunglasses to suit your choice. 

Remember that regular eye examinations are key to maintaining good vision in the long run. So, after you’ve found the perfect pair of UV-protective sunglasses, make sure to schedule your next eye check-up. Your eyes will thank you.

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