Visual care

2 July, 2020

7 Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunglasses This Summer

At L’Atelier Óptica we are visual health professionals and we are delighted to provide useful and verified information to our patients to help them take care of their eyes. We explain you the importance of wearing sunglasses.

Did you know that we Spaniards are among all Europeans the ones that spend the most time outdoors, especially in summer? It is also, at this particular time of the year, when the sun rays fall perpendicularly on the earth being, therefore, more dangerous for our visual health.

Today, we are going to explain the risks derived from ultraviolet radiation and how to protect your eyes in the best way possible during the summer.

Solar radiation: why is it so dangerous?

We all love the sun, right? But you have to know that there is a direct correlation between solar radiation (visible, ultraviolet and infrared) and different eye problems, such as cataracts, keratitis or macular degeneration.

We have to take into account that the cornea is 300 times more sensitive to solar radiation than the skin, hence the importance of taking all precautions to avoid damaging our eyes.

As Juan Carlos Martínez Moral, president of the General Council of Optical-Optometrist Colleges (CGCOO) explains: “Although most solar radiation is effectively filtered by the eyes, chronic exposure to it or a high and selective amount of it in a short period of time, like a day on the beach without sunglasses, can lead to serious eye problems. ”

Consejos gafas de sol en verano

Guidelines to take care of our eyes in summer

1- Use quality sunglasses:

It is extremely important to use approved sunglasses with high quality lenses and filters.

Only quality sunglasses purchased from health verified establishments can guarantee full protection against harmful solar radiation.

It is estimated that only one in ten sunglasses sold in bazaars and markets meets the current regulations. Conditions such as keratoconjunctivitis, pterygium or premature cataracts can be caused by the use of sunglasses purchased in street markets and other unauthorized sales channels.

It is also important to know that the darkness of the lenses does not emply a higher protection.


2- The danger of using non-approved glasses.

The use of dark glasses generates the dilatation of our pupil and, therefore, our eye allows the entrance of a greater amount of solar radiation. If our glasses have not passed the necessary sanitary controls, it is very likely that their lenses will not protect us from ultraviolet rays, so we are increasing the exposure of our eyes and potentially generating serious eye damage.


Esquema de las estructuras del ojo


As pointed out by the CGCOO, the purchase of this type of glasses “can lead us to think that we are protected, when in fact, an inappropriate filter makes us more vulnerable than if we were not wearing anything.”


3- Choose the solar filter that best suits your needs.

Solar filters are classified according to their intensity, that is, according to the transmission of visible light, regardless of their color. The selection of a filter depends, to a large extent, on the use that we are going to make of our sunglasses. They range from 0, the lightest, to 4, the darkest:

Category 0– are those lenses with a light transmission between the 80-100%. They are transparent lenses but they offer a complete protection from solar radiation.
Category 1– are lenses with a soft coloration and are used to slightly mitigate the discomfort caused by the external light.
Category 2– Medium coloration, ideal to use outdoors with medium lighting. Indicated for those who prefer clearer lenses.

Category 3– They have a sufficient coloration to be comfortable in full sunlight. Ideal for the beach.
Category 4– Suitable in those cases of extreme luminosity, such as in high mountains and for snow or water sports. Its use is prohibited for driving.

Indicaciones de las lentes solares según su categoría


4- Protect children with good sunglasses.

Perhaps we have always thought that they do not need them. But the truth is that their eyes, with very transparent tissues, receive a large amount of light and are more sensitive to it. It is estimated that before the age of 18 they will receive 80% of the solar radiation that they will absorb throughout their lives!


Consejos gafas de sol niños


Sara Bueno, professor of Optics and Optometry at CEU San Pablo University, explains that “the use of sunglasses is even more important for children than for adults, since their lens is younger and more transparent and has less capacity to filter the light”.

5- Never look directly at the sun.

This is extremely important when there is an eclipse, since it can damage the retina causing serious eye complications.

6- Do not be fooled by cloudy days.

Even in these cases, we are exposed to ultraviolet light, since it is not totally filtered by the clouds. Therefore, in this situation it is important that we do not forget to protect our eyes too.

7- If you are a contact lens user, combine them with good sunglasses.

The UV filter of the contacts must be reinforced with good sunglasses to achieve optimal protection that blocks UVA and UVB rays, not only in the area covered by the contact lens.

How to choose the perfect sunglasses?

As we have already mentioned, it is worth investing in a good pair of sunglasses. Let’s choose only those glasses whose lenses are duly approved and equipped with the required filters, capable of completely protecting us from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The sunglasses must be adapted to the activities we are going to use them for: water sports, contact sports, outdoor sports, etc.

The advice of a good Optician-Optometrist is essential to help us choose the best option based on our daily needs and activities.

Let’s enjoy the sun and the good weather but always remember to be protected with good duly approved lenses. At L’Atelier Óptica we will be happy to help you select the glasses that best suit your needs, whether they are prescription sunglasses or not.

Quality glasses with unique and exclusive designs that respond to our philosophy of offering our customers only exceptional products.

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