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Questions and Answers About Sun Protection

Man Wearing Sunglasses in San Jose, CA

Dr. Collin Lee Answers Your Questions About Sun Protection

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

Wear sunglasses with UV protection. We have a UV meter test in our office to make sure your sunglasses are actually protecting your eyes. The sunglasses we sell all have UV protection. Some people prefer wearing transition/photochromic lenses that turn dark, but those do not work in the car and the frames usually do not have the same coverage as sunglasses. Wearing a hat also helps block out the rays from the top.

Q: What exactly are “ultraviolet rays?”

Ultraviolet rays are a set range on the light spectrum that can cause damage to the eyes with too much exposure (a form of radiation). The damage affects the front (makes the eyes discolored/red/dry) and the back of the eyes (retinal damage like macular degeneration). Too much UV exposure is common in sunny California.

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

Yes, sunglasses with UV protection is the number one way to protect your eyes

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

One with at least 90% UV blocking protection. We do have the UV meter to test to make sure sunglasses meet that standard. Polarized is a great option for people who don’t like reflection glare. It blocks out the glare from water and windows.

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?

Blue light is everywhere and its strongest source is from the sun. Fluorescent lighting to digital screens like tablets, computers, and smartphones emit blue light.

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

Yes, our eyes can be sunburned and even from the snow due to how white/bright the environment. There are different severities of the burn with some requiring a visit to our office.

Q: Do darker sunglasses mean better sun protection?

No, darker sunglasses is up to the patient’s preference and only helps with people who are extremely light-sensitive. All of our sunglasses have UV protection and features like polarized sunglasses help reduce reflection glare.

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

Sometimes, yes. People who have higher prescriptions usually do better in smaller sunglasses with no curve around the edges. The curved edges and larger sunglasses can create more distortion making the patient feel uncomfortable.