THE LINK BETWEEN SUNGLASSES AND CATARACTS
June is National Cataract Awareness Month, and UV rays are a significant risk factor for the eye disorder. The proper sunglasses can help protect you. As we get older, our eyes undergo physiological changes that can cause vision problems.
Ultraviolet light from the sun carries two types of radiation, UVA, and UVB rays. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause cumulative damage to your eyes as you age, but you can protect your vision by wearing sunglasses every day.
Since UV light carries more energy than visible light, it can do greater damage to our eyes. As we age, the damage simply has more time to accumulate: a cataract, (cloudiness of the lens) for example, is believed to be caused by many years of exposure to bright sunlight. Choose sunglasses with 100% UV blockage. Since you can’t tell by looking at the glasses the UV blockage – darker tint is not an indication, you should always look at the label.
Sunglasses help to protect your eyes against UVB rays that cause cataracts. A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. Seeing with cataracts is like looking through a frosty or fogged window. Cataract sufferers may also experience sensitivity to light, see “halos” around lights, notice fading or yellowing colors or have double vision in one eye.
Tips for Choosing the Best Sunglasses
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the best sunglasses offer:
- 100% UV protection
- High optical quality (lenses are free of manufacturing defects like bubbles or waves that could bother your eyes
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- A larger frame offers more coverage of eye area
Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision and your eye doctor will help you decide if surgery is right for you.
Protection from the ultraviolet rays from the sun can occur by wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. These two things can significantly reduce eye exposure to UVB radiation. Although cataracts are not completely preventable, their occurrence can be delayed. Smoking, avoiding excess amounts of alcohol, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may delay the formation of cataracts.
When to see a doctor…Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision such as double vision or blurriness, see your doctor right away. Talk with your eye doctor about whether surgery is right for you.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.