For many years we have been advised to wear sun cream to protect us from harmful sun rays. Unfortunately, the message to protect our eyes has not been promoted as well.
Why is it important to shield our eyes from sunlight?
Sunlight contains UVA and UVB rays that can be harmful to our eyes. It is recommended that we wear sunglasses and a sun hat with a brim to protect them.
A problem with sunglasses for those with low vision is that darker glasses can reduce our functional vision creating a win : lose situation - they reduce the glare but also our contrast sensitivity.
The answer might be to try a tinted pair of glasses. These are available in styles that sit alone or ones that can be worn over our prescription glasses. They are often referred to as anti-glare shields or sun safe filters.
Finding the right tint is based on your individual needs and your eye condition. For example, some eye conditions cause a sensitivity to light even when there is no sunshine.
Manufacturers often recommend certain tints for certain eyeconditions. People with cataracts, for example, might benefit from a yellow or yellow/orange filter. These tints allow light to enter the eye to help enhance contrast but filter out the potentially harmful rays. Some, who are sensitive to glare, find the yellow tint too bright and find the amber option more suitable. Meanwhile, people suffering with photo-phobia (sensitivity to light) could be better served by amber, plum or grey green.
As with most things, what works for one may not suit another. Some tints may help with glare but have little UV protection. Warwickshire Vision Support has a selection of tints for people to try at our support centres. If you would like more information on the glasses/tints available then come to your local support centre, give us a call on 01926 411331 or speak to your optician.
Article from Warwickshire Vision magazine spring 2020 by Christine Huber