Summer May be Waning, But Don’t Put Your Shades Away
Summer may be over and the kids back to school, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack the sunglasses away. No matter where you live, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are a year-round concern.
In fact, wearing sunglasses in fall and winter months is nearly as important as in summer months. Granted, the sun might sit lower in the sky, but 80 percent of the Ultra Violet rays that we try to avoid in summer months are still reaching us in the fall in winter. According to Dr. Samuel Pierce, president of the American Optometric Association (AOA), while cloudy skies and icy temperatures make it easy for us to forget to put on shades, UV should be taken seriously year-round.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation. According to the American Cancer Society, the amount of UV exposure a person gets depends on the strength of the rays, the length of time exposed, and whether the skin or eyes are protected with clothing, sunscreen, or sunglasses.
Obviously, UV rays are stronger during spring and summer months, but they are still formidable in winter.
While the need in northern climes for sunglass use year-round might be self-obvious (because even when the sun hangs lower in the sky the reflective light off snowy surfaces can cause glare and eye strain), people in southern climes need to be cognizant of UV protection year-round. The sun may be lower, the temperatures a little cooler, but our good old friend “UV” is still in the picture.
Even in winter months in southern California our eyes are susceptible to UV damage, and long-term exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, increased risk for skin cancer of the eyelids and other tissues surrounding the eyes.
Sunglasses—the Easy Solution
Luckily, the solution for preventing most damage to your eyes from UV exposure, whether it be in the summer or winter, is easy: sunglasses that are rated to block UV-A and UV-B light!
According to the American Optometric Association, exposure of your eyes to excessive UV radiation over the short term can lead to photokeratitis (similar to sun-burning your eyes or snow-blindness) and the harmful effects noted above. Don’t let this happen to you or a family member!
While it’s not clear how much exposure to solar radiation causes eye damage, wearing quality sunglasses year-round that offer UV protection is highly recommended whenever you are outdoors—and especially at the beach, the mall, or pacing the sidewalks of southern California.
Always buy sunglasses marked with a sticker or tag indicating 100 percent UV protection, or ask your eye care provider to ensure they offer verified UV protection. And remember, darker lenses don’t necessarily offer more protection. As long as the lenses are properly coated for UV protection, lens shade and color relate more to style than anything else.
Let Us Help You Find Shades that Are Right for You
For more than 30 years, Sunglass and Optical Warehouse has been helping the families of greater San Diego look and see their best all year round. With more than 60 brands and more than 7,000 frames to choose from, our inventory of men’s and women’s prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses is one of the largest in the world.
When it comes to stylish shades that also protect their eyes across a wide range of outdoor and recreational activities, San Diegans have come to rely on us to help them find the eyewear that’s just right for them and/or their family members.
- Our skilled team of optometrists, opticians, and other eye care professionals can help you explore our collections to help you find a look and a style that’s right for you or a family member.
- Opticians are on-site at all Sunglass & Optical locations, including our Sports Arena Boutique (Hancock Street).
- Optometrists practice on-site at our Sports Arena Warehouse (Kurtz Street) and Kearny Mesa (Convoy Street) locations. While walk-ins are often available, calling ahead to schedule an appointment with them is highly recommended.