Saving your sight - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Saving your sight

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) –Wearing sunglasses can do more than enhance your appearance. They can also save your vision.

However with so many different styles to choose from, it's easy to loose sight of the number one reason to wear a pair of shades.

Dr. Mel Gehrig, an optometrist at The Eye Clinic stated, "Sunglasses are not only for looks, it's also for the health of the eye."

While the human body can replace some damaged cells, the cells in the lens of the eye are never replaced. Excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation, UV-A, UV-B rays, can have harmful effects.

"If you're prone to have a cataract or you're in that cataract range, the ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause that cataract to form faster," said Gehrig. "If you're prone to skin cancer, etc. it can also protect the front portion of the eye."

The benefits of wearing a quality pair of sunglasses may be hard on the wallet, but they're worth the price.

"When it comes to sunglasses cheap is not good, you want to make sure that the sunglass protects you 100% against UV-A, UV-B rays," said Gehrig.

Indications of poor sunglass quality include lenses not uniform in tint, distortion of vision, and not blocking enough light.

When making a more expensive investment look for polarizing lenses to reduce reflected glare, photo chromic lenses to darken or lighten the amount of light, and mirror coatings to reflect.

Gehrig stated, "Sunglasses are for most people a necessity, they don't think of it as a necessity, but they really are a necessity."

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