I have terrible eyesight. So bad in fact that whenever I go to a new eye doctor, they always think it’s funny to say, “Wow, you really are blind!”
This post is sponsored by The Motherhood and The Vision Council
Obviously I’m not blind but my eyes are pretty bad compared to most people. Thankfully I can still wear contacts and actually at my last appointment my doctor told me my eyes even got a little better. I can’t even tell you how happy that made me.
I always do what I can to protect my eyes and when we were told that both Kora and Logan would need reading glasses in Kindergarten I became diligent about doing what I can keep their eyes healthy as well. That’s why I was excited to be invited to attend a webinar with optometrist Dr. Dora Adamopoulos, a member of the Better Vision Institute.
The main focus of the webinar was the importance of wearing the proper sunglasses for adults and children. As a family, we do a pretty good job of wearing sunglasses. Dave wears them no matter the weather. The minute he walks out the door he puts on his sunglasses. Sometimes I tease him because he even wears them in the rain and he probably has at least 7 pairs of sunglasses
I only have one pair but I wear them whenever it is sunny. I like them so much I try to keep them protected by putting them in a soft cloth case in my purse (totally dorky I know) to keep them free of scratches and smudges.
Logan has always been bothered by the sun. He can barely open his eyes on a sunny day and when he was really little he refused to. He closed his eyes and put a hand over them and insisted on being led around with his eyes closed. Needless to say he’s had sunglasses from a young age and wears them often.
Kora is the one we need to keep reminding to wear her sunglasses. She has a cute pair that she likes but she only wears them for a few minutes and soon has them off. She is often flipping upside down, running, jumping, and spinning so she finds it tough to do all that with sunglasses because they keep falling off. We just keep reminding her to put them back on when she is upright.
The Vision Council webinar started off with an interesting poll asking “When they are outdoors how often do your kids wear sunglasses?” Here is a breakdown of the responses from the participants:
- 5% say never
- 50% say not often
- 25% often
- 20% very often
- 0% always
I was surprised at the answers especially considering that when asked how often do we wear sunglassses when outdoors 52% said always and 30% said often.
Throughout the webinar we learned that it’s important for both children and adults to wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB stickers on them protect from harmful UV rays.
In fact, short term vision problem from lack of UV protection include:
- Sunburn of the eye
- Hypersensitivity to light
Long term vision problems from lack of UV protection includes:
- Premature aging & wrinkles
- Abnormal growths on eye and eyelid which can lead to surgery
- Cataracts – 32 female came in for annual exam and had cataracts; she was a life guard growing up but didn’t wear sunglasses often growing up; has also seen it in park rangers
- Macular Degeneration – causing you to lose central vision
- Cancer of the eye, eyelid, and surrounding skin
What you can do to protect your eyes:
- Buy sunglasses from a reputable person or dealer
- Look for a sticker that says UVA & UVB
- Make sure the sunglasses are comfortable
Throughout the webinar I learned a number of things I didn’t know including:
- UVA rays go all the way into the eye while UVB rays damage skin around the eye.
- Polarized sunglasses cut down on the glare
- A darker tint doesn’t mean better it’s only a matter of preference – as long as the sunglasses have the UVA & UVB sticker any tint is fine. Grey tints distort color the least while brown tints brighten vision on cloudy days
- Some contacts offer UV protection
- The only way to tell if sun damage is causing problems is by visiting your eyecare provider
The most surprising thing I learned at the webinar was that when sunglasses get scratched they lose their UV efficacy and UV light gets through the glass.
I had no idea. I thought that when they were scratched it was just annoying. It makes sense though that scratches mean they can’t work as they should. I now know we need to replace Kora & Logan’s sunglasses and I’ll have to get cute cases for everyone to put their’s in when they are not using them.
The doctor also offered advice on the best way to clean glasses:
- Never use Windex, ammonia, or alcohol, they can degrade the lens
- Use simple soap (like Dawn) and water
- Get a lather going and then gently dry it with a soft towel
- You can also buy sprays that are great when you don’t have soap and water
I learned a lot from this webinar and there’s more information and tips on the Vision Council website including a new report that reveals gaps in UV saftey, 2013 eyewear trends, and more. After attending this webinar and writing this post we’ll definitely be donning our sunglasses this Memorial Day weekend and hope you will be too!
What about you? Do you wear your sunglasses as often as you should?
It is not at all dorky to protect your sunglasses! Whether you paid a lot for them or not, it’s too easy to scratch or break them, especially in a purse. I’m a constant sunglasses wearer; I even have lighter pairs for overcast days, and can’t stand to drive without them (except at night, obviously). My mama taught me this, and she will be sixty this year with virtually no lines or wrinkles around her eyes.
WE don’t wear sunglasses, but after reading this post perhaps we should start. Wow! I did not know all that. I don’t think any of the sunglasses we got the children had the UV protection. Thing is, they break them so fast, I can’t see constantly buying expensive sunglasses.
Tired Mom Tésa says
The good news is you don’t have to buy expensive sunglasses for the kids. The Dr. explained that any pair is fine as long it has the UVA & UVB sticker on it. The cost makes no different at all. Just find a pair with the sticker and you are all set.
Ashley - Embracing Beauty says
I never wear sunglasses but I make sure my daughter does and my husband with his blue eyes has to wear them year round when he’s outdoors. Hmm, maybe I should….I’m just scared of getting dependent on them to where I HAVE to have them when outdoors.
we work hard to wear ours- my husband and 2/3 of our kids have very photosensitive eyes so they are uncomfortable without a good sunglass on.
Great information! My husband wears them all the time! Me on the other hand, not so much.
Sarah L says
I wear sunglasses like your husband: when ever I’m outside.
Tammy S says
We wear our sunglasses a lot. The only one I need to work on is my daughter. She miss places her all the time. That’s for sharing this information. I will make sure our next sunglasses are both UVA & UVB safe.
Terin Garrett says
I love her heart sunglasses! I wear sunglasses ALL the time! :)
Janel C. says
So much great info, thank you! I’ll admit, I’m not as good about encouraging shades as I should and I never wear them since I don’t have prescription shades and I wear glasses.
We do wear sun glasses, but probably not as often as we should. I love these photos. So much happiness.
I always make my kids were sunglasses! Not many people pay attention to eye safety!
I never wore sunglasses, but recently bought a polarized pair for fishing. What a difference for seeing into the water!
I am like your husband… I wear my sunglasses, no matter the weather. Yes, even when it’s raining.
We wear sunglasses like we should, but it’s tougher to get my toddler to keep them on. He likes to take them off and play with them. He’s getting better though as he gets older.
I totally agree! Sunglasses are so important and it is just as important that they offer 100% UV protection to UVA & UVB. Great post!
Mel Outnumbered says
I wear sunglasses all the time to. My eyes are really sensitive and I’ve worn glasses since age 9.
Amber Edwards says
I wear sunglasses all the time. I have super sensitive eyes So I really can’t go outside without them. But what bugs me is that I can’t find good sunglasses for my kids. They wear glasses, and no one makes special sunglasses to go over regular glasses for kids. And our insurance won’t let us get the polarized lenses. It frustrates me.
You only have one pair of eyes!!
My son and daughter wears glasses as well as my son, and I am never without my sunglasses! I totally get the importance of protecting your eyes!! Great read!
I hardly every wear sunglasses. I know I need to start doing so though. I have a pair for my daughter who has a rare eye disease though!
You know that’s something I do not do is wear sun glasses, I fall within that percentage but I will change that this Summer. I’m going to purchase a nice pair today! I know these old eyes of mine aren’t that great anymore that’s for sure. Great post!
With lighter eyes I can actually really tell a difference when I don’t have my sunglasses with me. My vision actually changes and worsens so I always keep sunglasses on me (just like I do my sunscreen!).
Yes, my kids wear sunglasses and of course they lose them pretty often. I have to get them those sunglasses holder ties so we are not purchasing new glasses all the time. Great tips!!
md kennedy says
I cannot imagine not wearing sunglasses outside – I am very surprised by the percentage that never do in the poll you showed. I always wondered how professional tennis players played without them, too.