Treat Your Eyes Right: Rethink Your Next Pair of Shades

Photo posted by @sunglasshut on Instagram

With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to start shopping for a new pair of sunglasses. Whether you choose a sleek set of oval frames or a classic pair of aviators, sunglasses are essential for any warm-weather outfit.  However, when picking out your next pair of sunglasses this season, don’t forget about protecting those beautiful eyes of yours. While VALLEY wants everyone to look and feel amazing in their favorite set of shades, sunglasses are not only a statement of personal style but—more importantly—a long-term investment in vision health.

Defending Your Eyes From UV Light

Who doesn’t live for sunny days in State College? The rare glimpse of blue skies and radiant sunshine is always a reason to get excited. However, the sun isn’t always as fun as the phrase claims to be. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can damage parts of the eye, including the lens, cornea, macula and eyelids if the proper measures aren’t taken.

According to Dr. Chris Hogan, optometrist at Visionfirst, excessive amounts of UV light can increase the risk of certain diseases including Macular Degeneration, non-cancerous growths on the eye known as Pterygium, Melanoma and Cataracts—the number one cause of blindness in the world. Additionally, UV light can cause short-term ailments such as sun burning of the eyes known as photokeratitis, which can lead to temporary blindness in extreme cases. Thankfully, one of the best ways to defend your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays is with (you guessed it) a quality pair of sunglasses.   

While it is especially important to wear sunglasses during the summer when UV rays are more than three times as intense as they are in the winter, according to Trail Vision Care Clinic, wearing sunglasses year-round is critical for a lifetime of healthy vision. As Dr. Hogan explains, serious eye diseases related to UV light exposure are “more likely to occur in someone who has had consistent exposure to UV radiation over time, rather than a person who gets a lot of exposure in one day.” For this reason, it’s always a good idea to sport your favorite set of shades whenever going outside, especially if you plan on spending the day near reflective surfaces like snow or water.

Things to Consider for Your Next Pair of Shades

A quality pair of sunglasses is a fabulous way to shield your eyes from harmful UV light and take ownership of your vision health. However, before adding just any pair of cat-eye frames to your shopping cart, do your homework. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the largest association of eye doctors and surgeons in the world, “the single most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses to protect your eyes is a sticker or tag indicating that they block 100 percent of UV rays.” This way, you can wear your sunglasses in confidence, knowing that they’re doing their job—and doing it well.

In addition, just in case you need yet another reason to splurge on that fun pair of oversized frames, look no further. The American Academy of Ophthalmology also recommends large-framed sunglasses because they provide more coverage and protection from the sun than smaller lenses. Lastly, consider trying out a pair of polarized sunglasses. While polarized lenses don’t offer any additional protection from UV light, they do reduce glare from reflective surfaces.

VALLEY Approved Shades

Premium brands often tout the best lenses, designs and technology. However, high-quality sunglasses don’t have to break the bank. Check out these VALLEY approved sunglasses that are kind to your eyes and your wallet.

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The Nevada frames from WearMe Pro Sunglasses have VALLEY dreaming of California beach days. Boasting polarized lenses and 100 percent UVA/UVB protection, these round, mirrored frames are just what you need this summer. With nearly perfect reviews, the Nevada is available in six different variations—and is just $24. Shop the Nevada sunglasses here.

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Looking to make a bold fashion statement? The Bree frames, also from WearMe Pro Sunglasses, are ready to protect your eyes in style. These trendy cat-eye frames offer great coverage, polarized lenses and 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. At just $23, what more is there to love? Shop the four different colors of Bree sunglasses here.

Proactive vision health starts with a great pair of sunglasses. Whether you decide to shop name brands or cost-effective options, protecting your eyes never looked so good. This summer, do your research and check the tag before your next sunglasses purchase.


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