The ultra-sunny summer months are upon us, making sunglasses the accessory of the season. But are yours doing their job? Read on for what to consider when shopping for shades, as well as two more tips to help protect your vision year-round.
- Get the right glasses. Not all sunglasses are created equal. In fact, some lack protection of any kind. Before you buy a pair, be sure they have a sticker or tag stating that they provide 99 to 100 percent UV protection (meaning they block the sun’s harmful rays). Polarization is another plus and is different from UV protection. Polarized glasses shield your eyes from rays reflecting off water or asphalt (aka glare), which can improve your vision when boating or driving.
- Eat your greens. Spinach, kale, collards, and other dark leafy greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two vitamins known to bolster eye health.
- Don’t skip eye exams. Certain diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma, often have no warning signs. The only way they can be detected is with a dilated eye exam, during which an ophthalmologist or optometrist uses drops to dilate (widen) the pupils then inspects inside using a high-powered magnifying lens. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends annual dilated eye exams for diabetics of any age; African Americans beginning at age 40; and others starting at age 60.
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