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Q&A for Sun Protection with Christopher Inclima!

Protecting your Eyes

Q: What can a person do to protect from sun exposure?

A: We recommend sunglasses that have 100% Ultraviolet protection or UV 400.  It helps to have a style that covers the eye and eyelid skin fully.  If you wear prescription glasses they can be made safe with 100% UV protection, even if clear.  A hat or visor also helps to block excessive UV and sunscreen should be used to protect the skin.  Also it helps to stay in shaded areas if you plan on being outdoors for prolonged periods.


Q: What exactly are “ultraviolet rays”? 

A: Ultraviolet waves are energy emitted by the sun which are invisible to the human eye and are responsible for sunburn and skin damage.


Q: How can people protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays? 

A: Sunscreen with SPF of a minimum of 30, hats or visors and sunglasses with 100% UV protection.  Some contact lenses offer UV protection for the eye, but not the eyelids, so it’s still important to wear a good quality sunglass.


Q: Are sunglasses an important part of a sun protection plan? 

A: Absolutely, they protect the eyes and allow you to see better by minimizing the glare from the sun’s rays.


Q: What type of sunglasses best protect from UV rays?

A: You want to get 100% UV protection or UV400, which means they block out all the harmful ultraviolet wavelengths.


Q: I have heard about blue light being a concern as well.  Can you talk a little bit about this and what it means for protecting your eyes? 

A: Blue light is becoming a concern because it is emitted from computer screens, cell phones and tablets, as well as compact fluorescent light bulbs.  There is some thought that prolonged exposure to Blue light energy can contribute to the development of macular degeneration.  We are now able to protect our patients with special lenses that partially block the blue light and cut down on the glare from computers and indoor lighting.  They are available in virtually any prescription.


Q: I’ve heard of getting my skin sunburned, but can your eyes also get sunburned? 

A:They can, the outer surface of the eye is called the cornea.  It has many similar components as our skin and with prolonged exposure can be burned.  Therefore sun protection is extremely important, even during winter months when sun can be reflected off the snow.


Q: Do darker sunglasses mean better sun protection? 

A: Not necessarily, clear lenses can be made to block out 100% of the ultraviolet rays.  So you want to pick a tint that you are comfortable with and make sure the lenses have 100% protection.  Polarized lenses also help to cut the glare off highly reflective objects like water and cars.


Q: Does having a prescription make it harder to get the right sunglasses? 

A: Not at all, all types of sun lenses are available in prescription including polarized and transition lenses.