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by NYMetroParents Staff July 1, 2014

Related: protecting your eyes with sunglasses, buying sunglasses, purchasing sunglasses, ,

Check out these 12 tips before purchasing sunglasses, which should be worn year-round to protect your eyes, according to doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

baby wearing red sunglassesOverexposure to the sun not only wreaks havoc on your skin, but can also damage your eyes. George Cioffi, M.D., chief of ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, and Christopher Starr, M.D., FACS, director of refractive surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian /Weill Cornell Medical Center, offer facts about sunglasses and sun exposure that everyone should know before purchasing their next pair.

  1. Wear sunglasses year-round. Even on cloudy days the UV index can be dangerously high.
  2. Overexposure to the sun can cause damage to the cornea, tissue growth on the surface of eyes, and even cancer of the eyelids.
  3. Sun damage may contribute to the development of cataracts.
  4. All protective eyewear should have a side shield protection or wraparound the eye so light cannot enter the eye from side reflections.
  5. Check the label. Sunglasses labeled UV400 offer more than 95 percent UV protection, which is the recommended level of protection (not all sunglasses are labeled).
  6. People who wear contact lenses that offer UV protection should still wear sunglasses.
  7. Sunglasses don't have to be dark to offer protection. Neutral gray, amber, brown, or green lenses all block at least 80 percent of transmissible light.
  8. Children's eyes are not able to block UV rays as well as adults' eyes.
  9. People with light-colored eyes are at higher risk for sun damage to the eyes and need to protect them all year-round.
  10. If you don't have wraparound sunglasses, wear a hat with at least a 3-inch brim that can block sunlight from overhead.
  11. Sunglasses are helpful for preventing the drying effect caused when wind meets contact lenses.
  12. Small infants should always be shaded from direct exposure to the sun.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,353 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 220,000 visits to its emergency departments—more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education, and community service.


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