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Selecting Safe Sunglasses

It is important to protect your eyes from sun damage when working outdoors in the hot summer sun. After all, any amount of time in the sun can expose you to a variety of eye complications, such as cataracts and cancer. What’s more, sunlight reflecting off of sand or water can further elevate your exposures and increase your risk of developing eye problems, including vision loss and light sensitivity.

That’s where sunglasses can help. According to the American Center of Ophthalmology, wearing the right sunglasses is a great defense against ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause short- and long-term eye damage.

When selecting proper sunglasses, it is important to:

  • Choose sunglasses labeled with a UV rating of 400 or more. Such sunglasses will be able to block at least 99% of harmful UVA and UVB rays, which are the two types of UV rays most commonly known to cause eye complications.
  • Consider large, wraparound sunglasses. These glasses will be able to cover the entirety of your eye sockets and offer greater overall protection.
  • Keep in mind that darker or colored lenses don’t necessarily equate to increased protection.
  • Ensure that the sunglasses you choose don’t interfere with your ability to wear any protective equipment required for your job.
  • Don’t use the cost of sunglasses to determine their protection capabilities. An expensive pair of sunglasses may not guarantee safer lenses.
  • Know that polarized lenses won’t protect your eyes and surrounding skin against UV rays. Polarization reduces glare off of water and pavement, but doesn’t protect against the sun.

In summary, don’t put your eyes at risk this summer. Be sure to protect yourself from eye problems with a good pair of sunglasses. For more information on selecting safe sunglasses, consult your supervisor.