5 Tips To Remember While Protecting Your Eyes This Summer

As the weather gets warmer and we enjoy the great outdoors this summer, it’s important to keep some key tips in mind in order to protect the eyes of you and your children properly. Here are five guidelines to remember when putting on your pair of sunglasses during the upcoming dog days of summer:

Choose wisely
Make sure the lenses of your sunglasses block rays from damaging ultraviolet A (UVA) light and ultraviolet B (UVB) light. The more coverage the frame gives your face, the more protection it will offer. Be mindful of the tint you choose, as well- amber and brown tints may offer more UV protection than grey tints, and solid tints typically offer more protection than gradient tints. Finally, make sure the glasses have polarized lenses, which cut down on glare coming from horizontal surfaces, such as lakes, rivers, oceans and beaches.  

Start young
Parents should have children wear sunglasses as soon as possible, especially during the brighter summer months. Similar to our skin, the earlier one’s eyes are exposed to the sun’s damaging rays, the more damaging the effects will be later on in life. Also, the sooner parents start putting sunglasses on their kids, the more likely they are to wear them later in life. If a child still refuses to acclimate to sunglasses, then protect their eyes with hats or headbands.  

Additionally, make sure the child’s glasses have a strap to keep the frame in place, or if the child wants to take off the sunglasses. It is also important to provide your child with high-impact-resistant lenses, such as polycarbonate, and trivex material frames to protect from flying objects.

Fit your face
Our faces come in different shapes, and it’s important to choose the most complementary sunglasses for your face to look its best.  Here are the frames most suited to each face shape:

•    Heart-shaped faces (wide forehead, narrow chin): cat-eye or round frames
•    Square faces (square jaw with similar width as forehead): cat-eye, round, or oval frames
•    Oblong faces (long face with chin and cheeks of similar widths): wrap styles or large frames
•    Round faces (jaw and forehead with similar widths and wide cheekbones): wide and rectangular frames
•    Oval faces (forehead, cheekbones and chin of similar widths): most styles of frames work on this balanced face shape

Check out frames that fit your face at VSP’s eyewear gallery at http://member.vsp.com/gallery/.

Invest in your eyes
If you buy well-made glasses, you are sure to get many years out of the frame.  Plus, you’ll receive a lot of compliments and gain the peace of mind of knowing you have invested in the protection one of your most valuable senses—your vision!

Regular eyeglasses can also protect our eyes from the sun. Select lenses that have UV protection, an anti-reflective coating, and a photochromatic or light tint.

Keep it up
Sunglasses are a fun fashion accessory that most of us think about during the hottest time of the year. However, it’s important to remember that in addition to helping us look and feel good, they are important for eye protection and should be worn year-round.

Michelle Calder-Cardwell, OD, is a Michigan Board Certified Optometrist. She is the president of Urban Optiques Vision Care in Northville, Michigan and can be reached at seebeseen@urbanoptiques.com .