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Eye doctor: Choose sunglasses that protect your eyes

Posted July 9, 2014
Updated July 13, 2014

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— Many people protect their skin with sunscreen when they're outdoors, but they don’t always protect their eyes. Doctors say there are important health factors to consider when choosing sunglasses.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Carmen McLean says sunglasses should have 90 to 100 percent UV protection. Tinted lenses aren't enough, and many glasses, especially plastic ones, don’t have UV protection.

“Ultraviolet radiation can cause damaging effects to the eyes. It can cause things like macular degeneration and cataracts,” she said.

McLean says she talks to her patients about their specific outdoor activities so she can suggest the best protective lenses. She advises finding glasses that have side protection so rays can’t get in and slightly larger glasses that cover the skin.

Anyone who is concerned about their sunglasses can take them to an eye professional, who may have a UV measuring device.

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  • common tater Jul 11, 2014

    I read once that overcast days are the worst on the eyes, because we don't wear shades nor squint as much but the UV light is actually higher than on a sunny day...no it wasn't an ad.