Do All Sunglasses Protect My Eyes Equally?


In Colorado it is extremely important to protect your eyes from the sun. Excessive UV exposure at a higher altitude can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and unsightly growths on the eye called pingueculae and pterygia. The eye can also get “sunburned” or photokeratitis from harmful UV rays reflecting off snow or water.

Research suggests that 50% or more of our lifetime exposure to UV happens before the age of 18, so children are also at risk and should wear sunglasses.

To ensure you have the best protection, choose sunglasses that are marked with 100% UVA and UVB blocking ability. The differences in cost of sunglasses are due mainly to the optical quality of the frames and lenses themselves, but 100% UVA/B protection can be achieved with even inexpensive lenses.  Also, light colored lenses will protect as well as dark lenses.

Lastly, the frames you choose should be close fitting and slightly wrapped to block harmful rays coming in from the sides. Make sure to wear the appropriate sport goggles and sunglasses for skiing and water sports. Polarized lenses add additional protection in these circumstances because they block the specific sun rays and glare reflecting off flat surfaces.

Call or stop by Northwest Eye Center, down the hall from Essence Laser & Wellness, for more information on sunglasses and all eye care services. Designer frames and lenses are available including Maui Jims (Dr. O’Rourke’s favorite), Jimmy Choo, Carrerra, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and many more.

Enjoying the outdoors in Colorado doesn’t have to come at the expense of harming your eyes or skin.  With the proper sunwear, and skin products, you can enjoy our beautiful Colorado summer!

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