We all grab our favorite pair of “shades” when the sun comes out. How do you know if they protect your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyes?
Darker glasses don’t necessarily mean that they block UV sunlight. Look for a pair of sunglasses that offer 99% to 100% blockage of UVA and AVB radiation.
The label may not have the numbers on them, but if it reads “UV absorption up to 400 nm” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements” then they block at least 99% of the harmful rays. If it is labeled “cosmetic” they block about 70% of the UV rays. If there is no label, look out! They may not block any UV rays.
When buying sunglasses for children, find a smaller version of real, UV protection sunglasses, not toy glasses. Children should have the same protection as adults. In addition, you may be doing harm. Squinting is a protective mechanism of the body in sunlight, dark lenses without protection allow you to keep your eyes open wide and absorb more harmful rays.
Always look for large-framed and wrap-around lenses to offer you more protection.
If you are putting on your sunglasses, you might as well throw on a hat, too! Hats should have a brim of at least 2-3 inches. Your fashionable straw hat may not be as helpful at blocking UV rays as a tightly woven fabric. A baseball cap is better than nothing at all—but it does not cover the back of the neck or the tops of your ears, where a larger percentage of skin cancers develop. Make sure to keep sunscreen on those susceptible areas.
With a little precaution, you can have a safe and fun lifetime in the sun. If you have any concerns or questions about what is right for you or your family, come by Emergency One and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you. After all, we are your partners in healthcare.