Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lookin' Cool

I can't keep a good pair of sunglasses.  They either get lost, sat on, stepped on, pulled apart, or eaten (the kids do the sitting, stepping, and pulling apart, the dog does the eating) .  I've basically gone without for the past 3 years.  I was thinking about getting myself a pair this summer.  I'll consider myself successful if I still have them by summer's end - and even more so if  I'm not walking around with my head tilted to one side so that no one can tell just how lop-sided they are!   

 My super Cool Husband!!  
Don't be jealous, Ladies!!

It's important to protect our eyes.  We only get one pair.  We had better take good care of them while we can.  UVB rays burn the skin and damage the eyes. Daily exposure to UVB is also thought to be a primary cause of cataracts, which causes a clouding of the lens and significantly lessens vision.  Wearing good quality sunglasses can filter out most UV radiation and therefore reduce risks of eye damage and other potential eye problems.  

Long term exposure to UV radiation can be serious.  Scientific studies have shown that exposure to small amounts of UVB  radiation over a period of many years can cause cataracts; pterigia. or tissue growth on the surface of the eye; skin cancer around the eye; and can cause macular degeneration.   Damage to the retina is, in most cases, not reversible. 

Everyone is at risk when it comes to the harmful effect of UVA and UVB radiation, but some people are at bigger risk.  The longer your eyes are exposed to UV radiation, the greater the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts later in life.  

There are several things we can do to protect our selves and our eyes from these rays.  First, we can wear sunscreen to protect our skin.  And second, we can wear sunglasses to protect our eyes. 

In order for sunglasses to provide adequate protection for your eyes, they should:
  1. Block out 99 to 100% of all UVA and UVB radiation  (some manufacturers' labels say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.)
  2. Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light;
  3. Have lenses that are gray, green or brown.   
Blue Light Lenses - that block all blue light are usually amber in color and give everything a yellow or orange tint while you are wearing them.   This tent is said to make distant objects more distinct.  For this reason they are used by skiers, hunters, pilots, and boaters.  

Mirror coatings are layers of metallic coatings on a regular lens.  This type of lens will reduce the visible light entering your eye, but they do not protect against UV radiation.  

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