On behalf of Dr. Julie Grove and the staff at 21 North Eyecare, we would like to welcome you to our new blog! Here, we will talk about eye care issues, fashion trends, and new technology. We hope that you will find our posts educational and fun! To kick things off, we invite you to read our Sunglass Shopping Guide:
Many people buy sunglasses as a fashion accessory, but sunglasses shouldn't only be fashionable; they should be functional too. Sunglasses are needed for UV protection, blue-light protection, comfortable vision, and dark adaptation. The sun's UV radiation can cause cataracts, benign growths on the eye's surface, cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes, and photokeratitis (sometimes called snow blindness, which is a temporary but painful sunburn of the eye's surface). Long term exposure to the blue and violet portion of the solar spectrum has been implicated as a risk factor for macular degeneration especially for individuals that are "sun sensitive." The sun's brightness and glare interferes with comfortable vision and the ability to see clearly by causing people to squint and the eyes to water. Spending just two or three hours in bright sunlight can hamper the eyes' ability to adapt quickly to nighttime or indoor light levels. This can make driving at night after spending a day in the sun more hazardous. People should wear sunglasses outdoors whether they are working, driving, participating in sports, taking a walk, running errands or doing anything in the sun. So, what should you look for when purchasing sunglasses? You should choose lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation, screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light, are perfectly matched in color and absorption and are free of distortion and imperfection. If color recognition is important (you are an artist or photographer), you should choose gray lenses. If you would like to see softer colors and improve contrast, you should choose brown lenses. Sunglasses are a great accessory, but remember to purchase sunglasses that provide style, comfort, and most importantly, protect the health of your precious eyes.