Keeping your eyes healthy is certainly an important goal as most of us depend on good eyesight to live, work and play. But inevitably, age will catch up, and we have to do even more to keep various eye diseases at bay. And that is certainly the case with cataracts.
Merriam-Webster defines cataracts as “A clouding of the lens of the eye or its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light.” Cataracts are most commonly due to aging but may also occur due to trauma or radiation exposure. Over time, clumps of protein or yellow-brown pigment accumulates in the eye lens and that reduces the transmission of light to the retina at the back of the eye. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry or double vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and difficulty seeing at night.
To prevent or slow down the progression of cataracts, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) highly recommends wearing sunglasses that block 100% of ultra-violet light rays (UVA/UVB) all year-round when outdoors, but especially during the summer as the level of UV radiation is triple that of other times of the year. Also remember to wear sunglasses during cloudy weather as ultra-violet light rays are still present on cloudy days.
Many name-brand sunglasses such as EyeDope offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. Before purchasing any pair of sunglasses, read the description carefully to see if the ones you are interested in purchasing offer UVA and UVB protection, as you can’t tell just by looking at them. Also, consider a larger sunglass frame which will give more coverage than a smaller frame.
Even though children and young adults aren’t prone to developing cataracts, they should still wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from ultra-violet sun-ray damage.
As we always say, sunglasses aren’t just for style, they play a very important role in maintaining healthy eyesight!