Sunglasses Facts for Spring

In Alberta medical eye and vision concerns are covered under health care. Exams for children and for seniors are also covered. Call now to book your appointment and learn more about products to enhance your vision and protect your eyes. Read on to get started.

Days are getting longer and that mean more hours exposed to ultraviolet, or UV rays. UV light is high energy light from the sun or man-made sources such as black lights and welding arcs. These potentially dangerous invisible rays are also very helpful in that they help our skin produce Vitamin D.

As a rule, we should all try to get more fresh air and sunshine, but it’s still a good idea to be aware of potential short and long term risks. Here are some tips on eye health to keep you enjoying these long sunny days for years to come. Stop by and see us for a demonstration of the ideas described below.

UV Protection for Eyes: This is generally a good idea, especially where high levels of UV light are found in industry where artificial sources are used. Exposure to high doses of UV light can and will blind you, sometimes permanently. Always follow safety standards when around these potential hazards, such as around welding: If you can see the light flashing, you are already being exposed, regardless of the distance.

Sunglasses and UV Light: Most regular (clear/colorless) lenses for eyeglasses will have some degree of UV protection. You do not need sunglasses for UV protection, though this is often touted as a reason for buying them. It’s simply not true. It is true that sunglasses typically give you better coverage around the eyes as they are designed to fit more closely to the face.

Benefits of Sunglasses: Sunglasses are designed to provide other benefits that standard clear eyeglasses do not offer, such as tints and a greater face-hugging ‘wrap’, for example. ‘Shades’ can be both stylish and provide a boost to vision and protection from the elements.

Which Tint Is Best? This really depends on what you’re doing, that is, what you you need the tint for. There are many cases where tint can be helpful: Amber for helping after a brain injury or eye surgery, brown and grey for making things more clear for driving, pink and yellow for sports, and still others for industry. Sunglasses are generally either brown or grey. My preference is for brown because it eliminates much of the blue haze from daylight, while grey is a slightly better choice for golf. They are both great options for driving. Blue and pink lenses have been shown to improve reading performance for some people, but lenses are not a ‘cure for dyslexia’.

Polarized Lenses: Polarized grey or brown lenses have an added advantage in that they organize light into a single pattern or direction. This is like the difference between a messy pot of spaghetti and lining the noodles up in nice rows. The polarized light is much easier on the eye and clearer. Polarized lenses are great for drivers, fisherman who want to see to the bottom of a lake, or photographers who want to control what the camera sees. Pilots or anyone who needs to read electronic displays should avoid polarized lenses.

A lens is not really finished until it is coated. Un-coated lenses will fail immediately and be unpleasant to wear. Bargain lens suppliers, such as online providers, generally pass on savings by using poor quality coatings.

Anti-reflective Coatings: A lens is not really finished until it is coated. Un-coated lenses will fail immediately and be unpleasant to wear. Ask your lens provider about what coatings they use. We generally just go with the best coatings available and have arranged special deals with suppliers where it does not cost our clients any more. A great coating will reflect no light, allowing all the light to penetrate. A very good coating should be relaxing on the eyes and can sometimes make the world seem brighter when combined with a good prescription. Bargain lens suppliers, such as online providers, generally pass on savings by using poor quality coatings and lenses.

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