by Vishnuprasad on  September 19, 2014 at 4:43 PM Health In Focus
 Sunglasses: More Than a Style Statement
Donning sunglasses has been a fashion statement for many years. For some people sunglasses have always been a part of dressing up for a stylish summer getaway.

However, ophthalmologists say that they are much more than a fashion accessory. Sunglasses are an important tool in safeguarding the health of your eyes and the surrounding tissue.

Just as ultraviolet rays of the sun can harm skin, they can also damage the lens and cornea of the eyes. Eye specialists warn that too much exposure to ultraviolet rays raises the risks of eye diseases, including cataract, which cloud the eye's lens and lead to diminished eyesight, growth on the eye and ocular melanoma, a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment.

Conditions like cataract and eye cancers can take many years to develop, but each time we're out in the sun without any protection we could be adding harm that adds to our risks for these serious disorders.

Growths on the eye can show up in our teens or twenties, especially in those who spend long hours under the mid-day sun or in the UV-intense conditions found near rivers, oceans, and mountains.

Sunlight that bounces off highly reflective surfaces such as snow, water, sand, or pavement can be extremely hazardous. People who work outdoors surrounded by these surfaces have nearly four times the risk of developing exfoliation syndrome, a harmful eye condition that increases the risk of cataracts and glaucoma as we age.

A number of scientific studies have shown that wearing sunglasses plays an essential part in protecting the eyes from these threats as it shields the weak tissue around the eye. Researchers also state that people who donned sunglasses regularly when outdoors were at lower risk than those who didn't.

So, sunglasses are more than just a style statement. However, not all sunglasses protect your eyes.

Here are some tips to choose a perfect pair of sunglasses.

Optometrists say, one must be careful while selecting a pair of sunglasses. High price doesn't mean high quality. They add that cheap sunglasses are just as good at protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB rays as their high-end counterparts.

Sunglasses, which advertise general UV protection, must be avoided and you have to look for those that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB light rays. Some company labels say "UV absorption up to 400nm," which also indicates 100 percent blockage. Also, just because the sunglasses may be darkly tinted does not mean they block ultraviolet ray, the tint has nothing to do with protection.

Select lens that is larger or has a wrap-around style as it can block more light. Also, look for frames that will protect your eyes from all angles.

Choose sunglasses with a coating for polarization as the coating can cut out a lot of the glare off of water and other surfaces.

Sunglasses made from pressed plastic can cause distorted vision when you look to the right or left; choose sunglasses with optically ground lenses for less distortion.

Moreover, if you love a frame, but the lenses don't offer sufficient protection, take the frame to an optometric practice and have the lenses replaced with polarized, Ultras Violet blocking lenses.

Source: Medindia

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