Dr. Raymund Garza, Therapeutic Optometrist, Raymund Garza, O.D. – 777 N TEXAS BLVD ALICE, TX 78332

Polarized Sunglasses and Your Summer Eye Protection Guide

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A person wearing sunglasses and smiling, Polarized Sunglasses and Your Summer Eye Protection Guide

Summer is all about outdoor fun, family picnics, delicious barbecues, water parks, swimming or boating on the lake, and much more! With all the fun to enjoy, one should know that prolonged sunlight exposure can harm our eyes. UV rays and glare can lead to various eye issues, from temporary discomfort to long-term damage. Understanding how to protect your eyes during the hot, bright summers in Alice, Texas, is essential for maintaining optimal eye health and comfort.

Understanding UV Rays

UV, short for ultraviolet, represents a range of light that the human eye cannot see. This ultraviolet light is divided into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. While UVC rays are blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere and don’t reach our eyes, both UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the atmosphere and potentially cause harm to our eyes.

The Importance of Protecting Eyes from UV Rays

Exposure to UV rays can lead to the formation of cataracts, a condition where the eye’s lens becomes cloudy, affecting vision. Cataracts can impair night vision, diminish color perception, and make reading challenging. Although cataracts cannot be reversed, an ophthalmologist can surgically remove them. Additionally, UV exposure can cause damage to the retina, alter eye tissues, and result in photokeratitis, a temporary but painful “sunburn” of the cornea.

Why Alice Family Eye Center Highly Recommends Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized glasses are sunglasses with lenses that reduce glare from reflective surfaces, improving visual comfort and clarity. We call them polarized because the lenses are treated to filter out horizontally polarized light, reducing glare from reflective surfaces. Polarized sunglasses offer critical eye health and comfort benefits, particularly in bright and reflective environments. Here are the main advantages:

Reduction of Glare: Polarized lenses are designed to reduce glare from reflective surfaces such as water, roads, and snow. This glare reduction makes them particularly useful for driving, boating, and outdoor activities, enhancing visual comfort and safety. By reducing glare, polarized sunglasses help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

Enhanced Contrast and Clarity: Polarized lenses improve contrast and visual clarity, allowing for a more vivid and clear view of the surroundings.

Reduced Reflection: Polarized lenses reduce the reflection of light off surfaces, which can be particularly beneficial in environments with many reflective surfaces, like beaches or snowy landscapes.

Enhanced Safety: For activities like driving or operating machinery, polarized lenses can improve safety by providing clearer vision and reducing the risk of accidents caused by glare.

Better Eye Health: Consistent use of polarized sunglasses can help maintain overall eye health by reducing exposure to harmful light conditions and protecting against potential damage from UV rays.

What to Look for When Selecting Sunglasses

a person shopping for a pair of sunglasses, Polarized Sunglasses and Your Summer Eye Protection Guide

Select sunglasses that are polarized and offer UVA and UVB protection because polarized lenses reduce glare for clearer vision and comfort, while UV protection shields your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays, helping prevent long-term eye damage. Select ones that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Look for labels indicating “UV 400,” which means the glasses block UV rays up to 400 nanometers, offering complete UV protection. Additionally, to shield your eyes from glare in the visible spectrum, choose glasses that block 75 to 90 percent of visible light.

Alice Family Eye Center offers a variety of sunglass options to suit your needs. If you wear corrective glasses, you might find non-prescription clip-ons or wraparound sunglasses that fit over your lenses convenient. Alternatively, for a more streamlined option, you can opt for prescription sunglasses or glasses that darken in response to bright light.

More Summer Eye Safety Tips for You and Your Family

A person and child wearing hats and sunglasses, posing for a picture, Polarized Sunglasses and Your Summer Eye Protection Guide

In addition to wearing polarized sunglasses, here are some other tips for you and your family to protect your eyes during the summer:

  1. Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat

A hat with a broad brim can provide extra shade and reduce the amount of UV radiation reaching the eyes from above.

  1. Use UV-Protective Contact Lenses

For those who wear contact lenses, consider UV-blocking lenses to add an extra layer of protection against harmful UV rays.

  1. Limit Outdoor Activities During Peak Sun Hours

Avoid being outdoors during the peak UV radiation hours, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun’s rays are strongest.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration can help keep your eyes moist, preventing dryness and discomfort that can be worsened by sun exposure.

  1. Take Breaks During Prolonged Outdoor Activities

If you are engaged in activities like hiking, gardening, or sports, take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest and prevent strain.

  1. Use Protective Eyewear for Sports

When playing sports or engaging in activities like swimming or cycling, wear appropriate protective eyewear that shields your eyes from impact and UV exposure.

  1. Avoid Looking Directly at the Sun

Never look directly at the sun, especially during events like solar eclipses, as this can cause severe eye damage.

  1. Keep Your Eyes Clean

Wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes to minimize the risk of infection or irritation, particularly in dusty or allergen-rich environments.

  1. Use Eye Drops as Needed

If your eyes feel dry or irritated, use lubricating eye drops recommended by our optometrists to keep them comfortable.

  1. Get Regular Eye Exams

Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams with Alice Family Eye Center to monitor your eye health and detect any issues early on. Your optometrist can assess any UV damage and detect any early signs of eye conditions. Your doctor can recommend appropriate protective eyewear like polarized sunglasses or sports goggles with UV protection, ensuring your eyes are shielded from harmful rays and potential injuries. Regular exams also monitor the health of contact lens wearers, addressing issues like dryness or irritation that may worsen with increased summer activities.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the summer while protecting your eyes from potential harm caused by UV rays and other environmental factors.

Conclusion: Enjoy the Sun Safely with Proper Eye Care

Summer in Alice, Texas, offers endless opportunities for outdoor enjoyment. Amidst the fun, it is crucial to remember that prolonged sun exposure can pose risks to our eyes, including UV damage and glare-related discomfort. Understanding how to protect your eyes during these bright, hot months is essential for optimal eye health and comfort. Remember, regular eye exams at Alice Family Eye Center play a key role in detecting early signs of eye conditions and ensuring your eyes are well-protected throughout the summer and beyond. Enjoy the season safely and protect your eyes from the sun’s rays!

Call Alice Family Eye Center today at (361) 668-3937 for more information or to schedule your eye exam.

Alice Family Eye Center
Alice, TX.

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