Summer has come to an end, so it’s time to put the sunglasses away-right? Actually, there is a higher risk of uv exposure in the winter. Not only do the rays come from overhead, but the snow also reflects them back upwards. This gives us a double whammy, and puts the eyes at risk for uv burns, which we call snowblindness. Symptoms for this include sore, watery eyes, blurred vision and the feeling of having grit in the eye. This can last for several days before the eye heals itself. Lubracating drops and cold compresses can help with the irritation. Sometimes, your eye doctor can prescribe medicated drops (such as steroids) to reduce the inflammation. However, prevention is the best solution. So keep those sunglasses handy. A material that provides 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays (UV400) is ideal. Also, a polarized lens will help cut the glare from the multi-faceted reflections. If you’re skiing, a good set of goggles will be just as useful; just make sure you’re getting the proper protection. Also, a quality set will allow you to have unrestricted peripheral vision to avoid obstacles (and other skiiers) on the course. Enjoy the outdoors this winter, there’s lots that we can do. Just make sure that your eyes are protected to avoid any unwanted outcomes.

What to look for in sunglasses.

Summer is here, and the sun is shining bright.  This is the time of year that sunglasses shift from fashion accessory to a necessity.  But did you know that sunglasses, like sunscreen, have a protective role to play?  By blocking the UV rays that can penetrate the eyes, they can reduce the risk for certain eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Not all sunglasses are created equal, though.  The best ones will offer protection from all UV’s.  Here, you need to look for UV400, or 100% UVA and 100% UVB on the label.  Tints are a matter of preference, so pick the shade that seems to give you the most relief from the glare.  And if you want more glare reduction, a polarized lens will help to reduce eye fatigue caused by excess light scattering.  The best sunglasses offer full UV protection, with lenses that offer minimum distortion.  These are more expensive, however the reduced eyestrain is worth the investment.  So, summer is here.  Get your shades on!  Your eyes will thank you.