Light is very beneficial in our daily lives.  In fact, it’s essential for vision and color perception.  Blue-turquoise light aids in our overall well-being, like our sleep/wake cycles, memory and basic mental functioning.  

Most of us are aware of the damage that UV radiation can do to our skin, but many may not realize that UV radiation can also harm our eyes or affect our vision.  If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you are likely to experience an effect like “sunburn of the eye” called photokeratitis, which is painful and includes symptoms like red eyes, a gritty sensation, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing.  Mild exposure can cause headaches and eyestrain.  Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary.

Long-term exposure to UV radiation is more serious.

Scientific research has shown other dangers of UV-A and UV-B exposure:

Cataracts – the clouding of the eye’s lens and the leading cause of blindness

Macular Degeneration – accelerated aging of the retina that leads to permanently blurred vision  AMD is the #1 cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness in adults over 60 - having a family history can increase your chances of developing AMD.  Be sure to let your eye doctor know if you have a history of AMD in your family

Pterygium – a growth in the corner of the eye that can grow over the cornea and require surgery to remove

Solar Retinopathy – a permanent, untreatable condition that can cause blindness

Skin Cancer – the delicate skin around the eyes is especially susceptible to basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers.

Additionally, chronic exposure to shorter wavelength visible light -blue and violet light- may also be harmful to the retina.

Those who are at a higher risk spend a great deal of time outdoors (especially skiing, boating, or at the beach), use tanning beds, are welders, medical technologists, work in graphic arts or manufacturing of electronic circuit boards.  If you’ve had cataract surgery or take prescription or OTC drugs, that can also increase your sensitivity to UV radiation.

The American Optometric Association recommends wearing quality sunglasses that offer 99-100% UVA and UVB protection and wearing a wide-brim hat whenever you spend time outdoors.   The lenses should be impact-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex® if you participate in potentially eye-hazardous work or sports. Don’t forget protection for children and teenagers - they typically spend more time in the sun than adults!  Contact lens wearers:  If you do not have contact lenses that absorb UV light, you need to protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Sunglasses use a variety of technologies to eliminate the problems with light:
Tinting The color of the tint determines the parts of the light spectrum that are absorbed by the lenses. Manufacturers use different colors to produce specific results.  Gray tints are great all-purpose tints that reduce the overall amount of brightness with the least amount of color distortion. Gray lenses offer good protection against glare, making them a good choice for driving and general use.

Photochromic lenses (“Transitions”) darken or lighten as the amount of available light changes.
Mirrored lenses reduce visible light.
Polarized lenses reduce reflected glare.  Polarization has nothing to do with UV light absorption, but many polarized lenses are now combined with a UV-blocking substance.
UV Coating
Keep in mind that the color and degree of darkness sunglasses provide have nothing to do with the sunglasses' ability to block UV rays. Make sure your glasses have a UV protective coating like Crizal.  Studies have shown that enough UV rays enter around ordinary eyeglass frames to reduce the benefits of protective lenses. Large-framed wraparound sunglasses can protect your eyes from all angles.  Be sure your glasses have back-side UV protection.

Blue Blocking Glasses
Crizal Prevencia is designed to selectively filter out harmful light while letting beneficial light pass through
  • Crizal Prevencia is proven to deflect harmful Blue-Violet Light by 20%*4
  • Crizal Prevencia has an Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF®) of 25, which means 25x times more UV protection for your eyes compared to wearing no lens at all†
Crizal Prevencia No-Glare blue light lenses work in 3 ways:
  1. Selectively filter out harmful light (Blue-Violet & UV)
  2. Allow beneficial light to pass through (visible light, including Blue-Turquoise)
  3. Maintain excellent transparency (clear No-Glare lens) for optimal vision at all times

It’s here! Crizal Prevencia the newest and best technology available in UV and HEV (Blue-Violet) protection for your eyes.  HEV light not only makes up 25-30% of sunlight, but is more prevalent (25-30%) in the fluorescent, CFL and LED lighting we use so frequently today (our TVs, computers, smart phones, tablets…).  UV and HEV damage is cumulative, so although the effects of retinal damage may not appear immediately, over time the damage may become significant enough to impair vision.  Exposure has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye problems.  (AMD is the number one cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness in adults over 60—having a family history can increase your chances of developing AMD.)    Protect your vision, outdoors AND indoors – ask about Prevencia at your next eye exam!

So give your eyes the love they deserve and protect them!  
After all, what would you do without them?