Posted by: Pamela Kalivas | August 1, 2016

Shades of Summer: Tips for Visual Ergonomics

chic sunglassesAugust is Eye Health month! Prevent cataract and other eye ailments by remembering to protect your eyes indoors and outdoors! With the heat and glaring sun of August, people are showing off their summer shades.  More than just trendy accessories, sunglasses are essential for keeping your eyes safe and healthy.

In fact, less than 50% of Americans recognize the true benefits of wearing sunglasses on a daily basis. Although sunglasses are fashionable, their most important function is to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. In addition to cataract disease, exposure to UV rays may cause serious ailments such as skin cancers and glaucoma. Sunglasses prevent development of diseases while reducing glare from the sun.

Whether you are driving or sitting outside, sunglasses protect your eyes from sunlight’s glare off of surrounding objects.  Window shades are vital to minimizing the glare from outside, bouncing off of concrete or outdoor objects.

According to Visual Ergonomics by Jeffrey Anshel, the eyes are sensitive to light exposure anti reflectiveand working in places with uneven distribution of luminance can result in negative consequences. Glare can be extremely irritating when staring at a computer monitor and may lead to complications such as Computer Vision Syndrome or glare-related headaches.  Special computer vision glasses will help minimize computer glare and prevent computer vision syndrome.

Before you pick out a pair of chic shades, follow these tips to ensure your sunglasses will be effective:

  1. UVA/UVB Coverage: Pick a pair of sunglasses clearly labeled with 99-100% protection from UVA and UVB radiation. Without this coverage, UV rays may penetrate through the sunglass lens and cause damage to structures in your eyes.
  2. Distorted Vision: Wearing sunglasses that are prescription are the best for your eyes unless you have 20/20 vision. Avoid sunglasses that distort your vision, as this can be another safety hazard.
  3. Polycarbonate Lens: This is the most durable material for a sunglass lens. It is especially preferable for individuals with active lifestyles and is at lower risk of breaking.
  4. Block Visible Lights: The darker the shades, the better for blocking out visible light that can damage vision.

Wear your shades and keep your eyes fresh well into the future!

~ Pam

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