- Buyer's Guide
Overexposure to the sun can wreak havoc on your eyes. Sun damage can cause severe conditions such as photokeratitis (sunburn to the cornea), pterygium (tissue growth on the whites of eyes that can block vision), and skin cancer on the eyelids, and has been implicated in the development of cataracts and possibly macular degeneration as well.
"Although not every situation or every person requires sunglasses, there are many situations where the use of sunglasses will enhance comfort and may provide eye health benefits as well," says Dr. Jessica Ciralsky, an attending ophthalmologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Dr. Stephen Trokel, an attending ophthalmologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, adds, "There are strong indications that chronic exposure to the components of sunlight may accelerate aging of ocular tissues. Any protective eyewear should have side shield protection or wrap around the eye so light cannot enter the eye from side reflections."
Drs. Ciralsky and Trokel offer a five-point checklist to help you choose the best sun protection for your eyes during the summer and all year round: