National Sunglasses Day, brought to you by The Vision Council, is a commemorative date held annually on June 27, celebrating the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
One of the leading eye doctor’s in the country and a contributor on The Doctors, and an author of the upcoming book Perceptual Intelligence – Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler is always impressing the importance of wearing sunglasses for protection from UV rays. “America’s TV Eye Doctor ™” says it’s important because “sunglasses are like sunscreen for the eyes!”
Dr. Brian went to Venice Beach and tested the UV protection on over 100 pairs of sunglasses and here are a few of the tips he has to share:
“Check the label! Look for stickers that say 100% UVA protection
A $15 pair is just as good as a $200 pair – designer labels are more about style and branding than protection
Wear sunglasses in the car – car windows don’t always protect from UV rays.”
The Boxer Wachler Vision Institute gives away free UV testers so readers can test UVA protection on their own sunglasses and car windows. The link is www.boxerwachler.com/uv
We asked Dr. Brian some more related questions:
LA’s The Place: Why do people need UV Sunglasses
Dr. Brian: To protect eyes from harmful UV rays that cause red blood shot eyes, brown spots, eye freckles on whites (which we can treat but prevention is always best). UV is also linked to pteryium,cataracts, macular degeneration and skin and eye cancer.
LATP: What do UV rays do to your eyes/eyesight?
Dr. B: It can cause cornea burns, cataracts, and macular degeneration that all can affect vision.
LATP: Are the sun’s damaging rays worst than ever? Why?
Dr. B: Some say the protective ozone layer is not as strong, but UV is always present especially in mid day times.
LATP: How can you tell if a cheaper pair of sunglasses that claim to be 100% UVA are the real deal
Dr. B: We did a study and found all US-made sunglasses, even inexpensive ones, had great UV protection. Fortunately quality standards are now very high across the USA.
LATP: How are expensive sunglasses different from cheap sunglasses?
Dr B: Only in fashion and name brands. UV protection is excellent regardless of price.
LATP: What is the difference between UVA and UVB and do we need both?
Dr. B: UVA rays are more harmful as they cause damage to DNA and that’s why it increases risk discussed above.
LATP: Do babies need UV protection for their eyes too?
DR. B: Yes and parents should have them wear sunglasses. same for children. Sunglasses are like sunscreen for the eyes.
LATP: Do windows and glass protect from UV rays?
Dr. Brian and his daughter analyzed 29 automobiles from 15 manufacturers and tested the UV-A blockage from both the front and side windows.
To see Dr. Brian’s study comparing side window UV protection (overall poor) vs windshield UV protection, go here:
And a brief version of the findings can be found in his article:
“Measurement of UV-A Radiation in Car Windows to Better Understand the Risks of Cataract and Skin Cancer” at www.boxerwachler.com/uv
Dr. Brian also shared that there are a lot of UVA protection sunglasses for under $25 on Amazon.