scruffy sun

With the nice warmer weather that we have been blessed with lately, it’s time to go outside to absorb some vitamin D! Like everyone in Seattle, I go to the lake, hike, and barbeque in the sun during the summer time.  However, I always make sure to enjoy the sun in a safe fashionable manner! Yes, this month’s post is about wearing sunglasses! We need to protect our eyes from ultra-violet (UV) rays. You’ve probably heard this a million times from the media and the people around you. Wear your sunscreen! Wear your sunglasses! I think the latter is quick and easy to do, but you’re more likely to remember if you know the following facts about UV damage:

1. UV contributes to the wrinkles around your eyes by damaging the skin of the eyelids.

2. Cataracts occur sooner from being more exposed to the sun. This yellowing of the crystalline lens is primarily due to aging but the direct exposure to UV alters the protein structure of the lens and reduces the clarity of our vision.

3. The risk of macular degeneration is increased by our lifetime absorption of UV rays based on many published studies.  The more UV our eyes are exposed, the higher chance of developing central vision loss later on in life.

4. Skin cancer has been linked to UV light and we can have that same problem in our eyes. Pigment spots on different parts of our eyeballs can grow and become cancerous if we don’t wear our sunglasses.

For all these health reasons, we should have the right form of sun protection. If you buy sunglasses at the store, they should have a UV-400 label on it, meaning it blocks up to 400 nanometers of the UV light spectrum. Better yet, I also recommend polarized sunglasses because they reduce the glare on shiny surfaces for better visual comfort when you’re driving, skiing, or fishing.

Now if the public knows to wear sunglasses, then how come not every driver on a nice sunny day is wearing sunglasses? Maybe they forgot them or lost them? Well, that is definitely the case for some people, but I know for a fact that not everyone has prescription sunglasses. They might be wearing glasses to drive, but they are not tinted to block the radiation. Honestly, everyone should have more than one pair of glasses for different purposes. We have shoes for walking, running, and hiking. Speaking for the ladies, we have different shoes to go with different outfits. Granted that most shoes don’t cost as much as a pair of glasses (unless you’re buying a pair of Jimmy Choo), I don’t see why you shouldn’t have a pair of sunglasses for golfing or fishing, an occupational pair for working on the computer, and two pairs of indoor glasses, just in case “Fido” happened to chew on one of them. Of course, we understand cost is a concern when you have to purchase multiple pairs of glasses, so at our office we normally offer 30% on the second pair. However, I feel like we can do something to increase the number of people wearing sunglasses this summer in Seattle.  We have decided to honor 50% off on a second pair for the entire month of June. Make that second pair as your sunglasses!

We simply want our patients to be UV-protected with a prescription pair of sunglasses.    For those who need reading glasses, we can also customize a pair of tinted progressive or bifocal lenses to allow you to read outdoors, whether you’re at the lake this summer or tanning by the beach in Hawai’i in January! You definitely need to wear sunglasses year round even on cloudy days! UV rays still penetrate through the clouds so don’t be fooled by our gloomy days in Seattle! Now enough of my rambling, I’m going to put on my favorite shades and walk my dog! It’s lovely outside on the first day of June!