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When we think about our health, we always think vitamins, eating right, exercising, seeing the doctor, right?
But how often do you thinl about your EYE health?
Probably only when you purchase those multi-vitamins, and you make sure there is betacarotene for your eyes, right?
Unless you start having eye problems, and then TADA, your eye health is suddenly front and center.
But did you realize that those eye problems may have started when you were as young as 3 years old?
Children receive THREE times the annual adult dose of UV radiation! Nearly 1/3 of parents don;t make kids under the age of 13 wear sunglasses wither. So by the time a child turns 18, a child has received nearly 25 percent of lifetime UV exposure to theie eyes. Think about that for a minute- 1/4th of your lifetime exposure, aka damage, has been done. Now think what comes next in your 20s. All that outside fun in the sun. We've always been told the time between 2-4pm is bad, but did you know 8-10 am is JUST as bad for your eyes? Add all that up and suddenly you may have actually caused unbelieveable harm to your eyes!
Short exposure to UV radiation can cause temporary eye problems ranging from discomfort and pain, to blurred vision to ensitivity to light. But ongoing exposure can actually CAUSE the problems we associate with getting older:
- Premature aging of the skin; wrinkles and sunspots
- Pterygium (abnormal growths on the eye and eyelid)
- Cataracts and/or Macular degeneration
- Cancer of the eye, eyelid and surrounding skin
Now you would think with all out new knowledge, that the younger generations would be more eye health savvy, wouldn't you?
But the stats tell us otherwise:
Sorta scary, right? And that is why as parents we really need to stress to our kids how what they do NOW with they eyes and UV exposure WILL affect them when they are OUR age. Especially when you add in all the screen time they get, they will all need reading glasses due to eye muscle breakdown MUCH sooner than their parents! Not something we wish upon our kids, is it?
Thanks to a recent webinar from The Vision Council that II attended, I learned those facts and a LOT more about the need for great UV protection for our eyes, no matter what time of day and where you are. It's hard to keep after your kids, but wearing YOUR sunglasses all the time is the key- just like you model proper manners, eating and actions, they need to see YOU wearing your shades, to know that they need to too! We've gotten where we make sure to leave a pari of sunglasses in each of our cars for Miss Grace, so she always has a pair handy, if she walks out of the house without them. And be sure to check for fit too! Last years sunglasses may no longer fit your kids. Miss Grace had to get all new sunglasses this year, as there is a bug difference between the under 8 and over 8 in sizing. You want a lens that will protect the WHOLE eye!
Thanks to The Vision Council, we received a Sun Safe Swag Pack, and Miss Grace was thrilled to see new shades included!
As you can see, the glasses we were sent (Carlos Santana for me- in the irony department, I used to literally run into him all the time when I used to live in Marin County, I used to joke that I felt like I watched his daughter growing up, as much as we ran into one another- and Disney for Miss Grace), are not super dark and look pretty fashionable!
As you can see the glasses really take the glare away, yet while they seem dark, they really give you pretty clear vision!
Things to look for when you are looking for new sunglasses:
- Anti-Reflective or Mirror Coated- if you are going to be on the water, you need to reduce as much glare as possible! Water reflect 100% of the sun's rays, where as concrete only reflects 25%! Once you wear them you'll see the difference imemdiately!
-Impact Resistant- especially for kids, this is a must- if their lenses shatter, they are less likely to want to wear them. Elastic or lens cords are also helpful to keep them on kids! Babybanz are great choices as the cord on them is soft and helps to keep the sunglasses on!
-Photochronmic or Polarized- the word you probably know, and one you don't right? These glasses adapt to different brightness levels and maximize visibility in low light or foggy conditions. Yellow, red and gray tints decrease distortion, whereas copper-tinted shades heighten contrast.Perfect for outdoor sports.
-Wraparound- you may not have thought about this, but the more your glasses wrap around, they protect your eyes from ALL angles. Plus rays can get past the sides and reflect off the BACK of your lens and sunburn your eyes and eyelids. Who knew? This is really important if you are on the water or other high glare surface!
- Scratch resistant- again the longer your glasses give you a great view of the world, the more prone you are to wear them. Very helpful if you have prescription sunglasses too!
- UV Resistant- even clear coated lens are better than dark lens with NO UV protection-darker isn't always better! Did you know you can have an UV CLEAR coating added to your regular prescription glasses? While not as great as regular sunglasses, it's an added measure of protection that you really need to consider spending your money on!
And remember, if they look 'cool' your kids are more likely to wear them ALL the time. So let them be part of the purchasing experience. Take some cool pix, so they can see how well their eyes are protected. And work together to save your eyes this Summer and all year long! Be sure to wear your sunglasses on National Sunglasses Day, this June 27th, and post a selfie on your social media channels, using hashtag #NationalSunglassesDay to help spread awareness on just HOW important it is to wear your sunglasses ALL the time!
And to get you ready, I have just the thing:
One reader will win this pair of Red/Black Summer Wayfarer Sunglasses
Good luck and keep those shades on!