Each summer Re:Vision are invested in advising their clients on how to take care of their eyes during the summer months, and this summer is no exception. They explain that just as going out without sunscreen can give you sunburn, going out on a sunny day without sunglasses can give you photokeratitis — which is sunburn of the cornea. This condition is caused when the cornea is exposed to harmful UV rays of the sun. Symptoms include dryness, discomfort and tearing up. It’s best to wear sunglasses if you’re going to be outdoors more often in the summer, and even better to wear UV sunglasses.
A UV coating on your clear lenses effectively blocks ultraviolet light. While regular plastic eyeglass lenses block most UV light, adding this invisible UV-blocking dye to your lenses ensures that you are 100% protected. As with sunscreen, the higher the value, the greater the protection, for example E-SPF™ 50+ offers optimal UV protection outside.
Often, people mistake UV glasses for sunglasses. Though they share some similarities, there are many differences in their benefits and usability. Large sunglasses that “wrap around” or otherwise don’t allow light to get in from above, below, and the side of the frames offer much more thorough protection.
The difference between the terms polarization or polarized sunglasses, and UV sunglasses, can be confusing. But polarization and UV protection are not the same thing, even if some companies advertise them together. Polarization refers to a lens’ ability to reduce haze and glare in bright sun, but polarization alone does not protect your eyes from UV radiation. While most polarized lenses are also UV-blocking glasses, make sure that both features are included when you purchase your sunglasses.
And finally as we head into our swimming season, and very importantly, you must take out your contact lenses before your swim. The main issue here is that many bacteria and other micro-organisms that might not otherwise bother you can either attach to the surface of your contact lenses, or get trapped between the contacts and your eyes. This dramatically increases your risk of developing a potentially dangerous eye infection, including one that could cause significant cornea damage.
In this case, a pair of watertight goggles is your best choice for eye protection or consider having laser vision correction (LASIK) to get rid of glasses and contact lenses totally, giving you the visual freedom you require to take up all those summer activities.