by Stephan J. Smith, DC
If you swim in a pool outdoors, it can be generally stated that it’s usually bright and sunny. Even if it isn’t bright and sunny, certain precautions should be taken since UV waves are not stopped by clouds. Sunscreen is a given, and we’ve discussed that on this blog before, but what is often overlooked is eye protection. Your eyes are as vulnerable to UV damage as your skin is…maybe even more. Wearing sunglasses to look cool is great, but whether or not they protect you from UV rays is another matter. Dark fashion sunglasses that have no UV filtering capacity is even worse for your eyes that going without sunglasses since wearing a dark lenses causes your pupils to open wider and let more UV radiation into the eye. Also, UV intensity is highest in summer months, at higher altitudes, and closest to the equator, and if you’re in a pool or other body of water, the reflected light only increases the potential for damage.
Cost is not a good measure of the effectiveness of sunglasses. It’s better to look at individual qualities, such as high-impact lenses that are neutrally tinted and are rated to block 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays, or simply state, “provides 100% UV protection” or “UV400 protection.” Whether or not the lenses are polarized doesn’t matter since polarization only cuts reflected glare, not UV waves. Choose styles that have a wrap-around shape to protect peripheral vision and fit properly.
Remember that children need protection too, so make sure they have good sunglasses. As stated above, clouds do not stop UV rays, so wearing sunglasses even on bright cloudy days is important. Protect your eyes and enjoy your summer!
Guest post by Dr. Stephan J. Smith. Dr. Smith is a wellness expert and Chiropractor in Brighton, Michigan. Along with Dr. Vladimir J. Brajak, he co-owns Advantage Family Chiropractic and is available to speak to your group, organization or company on several popular wellness topics. For more information or to schedule a talk local to Brighton, contact us at 810-288-5823.