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  • Dr. Sandra Chiu

Why contact lens wearers should wear sunglasses?

If you’ve ever been caught outside on a sunny day without your shades, then you know how uncomfortable it can be to squint against the light. Even at this time of year, the light bouncing off the snow can cause debilitating glare too. A high-quality pair of sunglasses is a good idea for everyone - but even more so if you’re a contact lens wearer.

Here are the reasons why contacts and sunglasses make the perfect pairing:

1. UV Protection.

One of the biggest health benefits of wearing sunglasses is protection from the sun’s rays. Repeated exposure can age the structures of the eye, leading to corneal damage, cataracts, macular degeneration and more. But people who wear contact lenses expose their eyes to even more UV rays than those who wear glasses, so sun protection is especially important for them.

Buying tip: When choosing a pair of sunglasses, make sure that they are labeled as providing 100% protection from all UV light.

2. Decrease in dry eye symptoms.

The itchiness and discomfort of dry eyes are one of the main reasons that people stop wearing contacts. This often happens because the eye is exposed to drying winds outdoors. Sunglasses can help block this airflow, resulting in a more comfortable wearing experience.

Buying tip: Choose sunglasses with larger lenses to block as much wind (and UV) as possible. Consider oversized or wraparound sunglasses.

3. Injury protection.

If you’re active in sports or work in an unpredictable outdoor setting, your contacts won’t physically protect your eyes against flying objects or debris like glasses would. A good, sturdy pair of sunglasses can often provide enough of a shield to prevent eye injury.

Buying tip: Look for a pair of sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses, which are less likely to shatter if hit by something.

4. Clearer vision.

People who wear contact lenses often find that they are more sensitive to glare from sunlight than those who wear eyeglasses - even on cloudy days. Throwing on a pair of shades can help alleviate much of this discomfort.

Buying tip: The colour of sunglasses lenses doesn’t have an impact on the level of UV protection, but brown or rose-coloured lenses can provide more contrast than other colours. Darker lenses don’t necessarily provide more UV protection either.

Carey Optical offers a 25 percent discount on non-prescription sunglasses for contact lens wearers! Come in to our optical shop today to see the high-quality pairs we’ve got in stock.

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