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Carolina Eye Care
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Did you know that reflected UV light is just as damaging to your eyes as direct UV rays? Here are some of the biggest culprits:
• Water reflects up to 100% of the sun’s damaging rays
• Snow reflects up to 85%
• Dry sand and concrete reflect up to 25%
• You’re much safer on the lawn: grass reflects only 3% of the sun’s damaging rays
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Monday morning pop quiz: When can UV rays affect the eyes? Answer: UV radiation is present year-round, no matter what the weather or temperature is. So, it’s important to wear proper eye and skin protection while outside during daylight hours. That’s why we call them “sunglasses” not “summerglasses.”
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Children are especially vulnerable to the sun’s damaging UV rays because their pupils are larger and their lenses are clearer than adult eyes – meaning more UV rays reach the back of kids' eyes. Even with this increased risk, 34% of parents say their children under 13 “rarely or never” wear sunglasses, setting the stage for serious vision damage later in life.
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Children get 3 times more UV rays each year than a typical adult does! While preventing UV exposure is important at every age, damage is cumulative and irreversible, so it’s vital to start protecting kids from this harmful radiation exposure with quality sunglasses.
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Only 21.2% of American adults say they “always” wear sunglasses. Worse: only 7.4% report that their children “always” wear sunglasses. Wide-brimmed hats only block about 50% of UV rays from impacting the eyes, so when you buy yourself quality sunglasses, buy some for your children, too.
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A high-quality sunglass lens like the ones your optometrist recommends will help to protect the eyes from the blue and violet portion of the sun’s light spectrum. That portion of the solar spectrum increases your risk factor for developing macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss after age 50.
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The sun emits three kinds of ultraviolet radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. While UVC is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, UVB radiation is only partially blocked and can burn the skin and eyes. UVA rays are not filtered and cause the most damage to vision health.
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Sunglasses aren't just another fashion accessory: the lenses you choose are critically important to protecting your eye health. We can recommend sunglasses that look great on your face AND block 99% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation to protect you properly. Ask your eye doctor which sunglass lenses are best.
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Does the darkness of a lens equate to higher UV protection? No, it does not. However, 41.5% of American adults believe it does. Dark lenses without adequate UV protection can be worse than wearing no sunglasses at all because they cause pupils to dilate, increasing retinal exposure to damaging, unfiltered UV rays.
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According to the American Optometric Association, proper sunglass lenses will:
• Block 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B rays
• Screen out 75-90% of visible light
• Be free from distortion and imperfections so you can see your best.
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