Eye Care in the Summer Sun

The sun’s angle in relation to the earth varies according to the season, and during the summer months the sun shines on us more directly, resulting in a greater amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Always use your sunblock lotion, hat and sunglasses. UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so be extra careful during those hours. Higher altitudes also increase the strength of UV rays.

There are many choices of sunglass lens colors and tintings that are specifically suited to enhance and improve vision in certain settings and activities. Below is a guideline on the various lens tints:

  • Gray and black tints are best for perceiving colors in their purest form. They reduce brightness and glare, making for a great all-purpose lens.
  • Blue lens sunglasses eliminate glare and help define contours. They also enhance color perception.
  • Dark amber, copper and brown tints reduce glare and block blue light. They can also increase contrast and visual acuity. They are great for judging distances.
  • Green tints can block some blue light and reduce glare. They can also increase contrast and visual sharpness and enhance shadows, making them great for golf and tennis.
  • Red and pink tints increase contrast by blocking blue light and enhancing depth perception. They are also soothing for the eyes and more comfortable than others for longer wear times.

Consider wraparound-style sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight seeping around the sides of the lenses, especially when boating where the sun is reflecting off the water. Some sunglass brands offer interchangeable lenses, giving you a choice of customizing the lens color to match the outdoor activity.

The American Cancer Society warns: “UV rays become more intense in the spring even before temperatures get warmer, and people in some areas may get sunburned when the weather is still cool because they may not think of protecting themselves if it’s not hot out.”

So don’t forget your eyes when preparing for outdoor summer activities!