Wearing sunglasses is important for all of us. They are not just to look cool or be part of your summer wardrobe. Many people do not realise that they are vital for protecting your eye health and vision, all year round. It’s important to know, though, that while you may be wearing sunglasses you may not be safely protecting your eyes. Some sunglasses can in fact be causing more harm than good.  
The darkness of  sunglasses encourages your pupil size to increase, therefore allowing more light into your eyes potentially causing cataracts, corneal sunburn, macular degeneration and ocular melanoma (eye cancer). It is also important to remember that sunglasses serve to protect the whole eye area from damaging sunlight which can cause eg melanoma of the eyelids. If the sunglasses you are wearing do not have a high quality optical lens with a filter for ultra violet light and CE marking then you are at real risk. Another reason why your sunglasses may not be protecting your eyes is if they do not fit you correctly or if they are badly scratched.
So what are your options?  
Some sunglasses are tinted which simply reduce light levels and so can be great for use on very bright days but not so great on those cloudy, glare filled days.
Polarised lenses eliminate glare and are great all year round and are highly recommended for anyone who drives a lot, especially in winter sun, or for anyone who loves water sports.
Transitions lenses react to the presence ultra-violet light and work well by darkening when outdoors and lightening when indoors.
Drivewear or Xtra Active lenses are a combination of transitions and polarised lenses giving superb vision whilst driving day and night.
Flash mirror coatings are also back in fashion for sunglasses, available in many colours including blue and orange and coloured tints as well as traditional brown. Grey or green are coming back also.
Interesting fact
Essilor, our premium lens supplier who manufacture Crizal UV lenses, are the first lens company to develop a spectacle lens SPF(sun protection factor — similar to that on sun lotions). All their Crizal UV lenses have an e-SPF of 25 and their polarised Xperio sun lenses have an e-SPF of 50.  
Couple these amazing quality lenses with a well fitting frame suiting your individual facial contours will have your eyes well protected. 
At Nichola C Kennedy FAOI Optometrist (aka www.kilcullenoptician.com) we specialise in sunglasses for those with perfect vision as well as those who need prescription lenses to perfect their vision and can assist you when it comes to making the best choice for your requirements as everyone has individual needs. Sunglasses are available in all forms such as single vision for distance, bifocals or varifocals.  
Don’t forget to wear good quality sunglasses over your contact lenses.
Pop into see us at Nichola C Kennedy FAOI Optometrist and try see our tinted, polarised, transitions and drivewear lens samples and try on some great shades!
UV Damage

It doesn’t have to be Sunny for UV Damage to Occur.