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At the end of an eye exam, I always ask if the person has any questions. A couple of years ago, for the first time, someone asked: “what is the most important thing I should do to keep my eyes healthy?” Without even thinking, I said, “wear good sunglasses.”

That got me to thinking...why don’t I make sure I recommend that to every person I see that got me to thinking...why don’t I make sure I recommend that to every person I seein my exam chair? I have been trying harder to make that recommendation for every person that comes in to see me.

If I haven’t made that recommendation to you, let me tell you here why it is so important.

CATARACTS

Up to 20 percent of cataracts are caused by excess UV exposure. Sure, cataract surgery is easy and safe, but the wait times are long and you can experience several years of blurry, annoying vision while you are waiting for cataract surgery.

MACULAR DEGENERATION

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in North America. We know long term exposure to sunlight can increase the risk for macular degeneration.

PTERYGIUMS

Many of you may not know this term, but you actually have small pterygiums (I do). Pterygiums are a thickening of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane over the white part of your eye). They occur very slowly over time due to UV exposure and dryness. They cause even more dryness, redness, irritation and they can cause astigmatism which can make your vision blurry.

When choosing sunglasses, make sure you choose frames that are big enough to cover your entire eye area and frames that fit close enough to your eyes to block out sideways. Choose lenses that block the entire UV spectrum (wavelengths up to 400nm) and choose lenses that are free from distortions and imperfections.

You may know our favourite sunglasses are Maui Jim sunglasses. They have fantastic optics, tints, coatings and amazing warranties and customer service. They keep getting better and better frame styles so there is a perfect frame for almost everybody!

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