The sun is always shining

For most of us, sunglasses are a sign of warmer weather and an accessory to our everyday wardrobe. They are especially essential when the sun is shining bright when we make our morning commute. It is fairly typical that those are the only times we reach for the sunglasses.

With the consistent education efforts of health officials and sunscreen manufacturers, we have learned that the sun’s Ultraviolet rays (UV) penetrate the atmosphere regardless of sunny or cloudy weather. So, why aren’t we protecting our eyes the same way we protect our skin from the sun?

Long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays can play a role in various eye diseases and vision loss. This list includes, but is not limited to; age-related cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer of the skin around the eye.

So the next time you are heading outside, reach for your sunglasses in any weather, but before you do, make sure they will protect your eyes. Unlike the sunscreen industry, there is no uniform labeling for sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that absorb 99 to 100-percent of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays to 400 nanometers, also known as UV400.

Be skeptical of claims that the sunglasses “block harmful UV rays” if no percentage is listed.

According to Heather Engle, Community Educator for North Central Sight Services, “Wraparound styles are recommended as they will protect your eyes from peripheral rays.”

Buyer beware-tinted glasses do not indicate UV protection!

For more information, visit Join North Central Sight Services on July 9th at the Williamsport Crosscutters game where we will be providing UV400 sunglasses away to the first 250 children through the gates.

Larson is the marketing and public relations manager at North Central Sight Services Inc.