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Sunglasses serve two major functions. They decrease the amount of sunlight reaching your eye for comfort and protect your eye and surrounding structures from the devastating damage of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light has been linked to the formation of cataracts, macular degeneration, intraocular tumors, skin cancer on the lids and pterygium, an abnormal growth on the eye's surface.
It has been estimated that up to seventy percent of your life time sun exposure occurs under the age of eighteen. Ultraviolet light and sun exposure damages is cumulative. In addition, a child's eyes are more susceptible to ultraviolet exposure because the lens in their eye is clearer. Therefore, decreasing the amount of sun exposure in childhood becomes essential. Children who cannot tolerate sunglasses should wear a wide-brimmed hat, which will provide some UV protection.
Sunglasses should be purchased that have complete ultraviolet blockage. Do not be misguided by price- higher priced sunglasses usually represent fashion trends or durability, not UV protection. Also , if sunglasses do not fit properly their UV protection is minimized or lost.
The easy was to remember when to wear sunglasses is this: When you go outside you should protect your eyes; consider sunglasses the "suntan lotion for the eyes."
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