Thursday, July 26, 2007
San-O Surfing Tip No. 83: Sunglasses
In 1998, a group of eye care professionals studied 438 San Onofre and Trestles surfers who had spent years in the water. The surfers who wore no eye protection while on the beach had three times as many cataracts - a clouding of the eye's natural lens - as those who wore sunglasses. Based on this study and others, eye care professionals recommend that surfers wear UV-absorbent sunglasses while on the beach, and many recommend sports sunglasses be worn in the water as well.
You should always buy sunglasses with 99% or 100% UV protection. Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight is linked to eye disease. Both plastic and glass lenses absorb some UV light, but UV absorption can be improved by adding chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or by applying special lens coatings. Some manufacturers' labels say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.