LENSES Bahamas

LENSES optometrist shares vision protection tips

Sunscreen? Check.

Bug spray? Check.

Sunglasses with 100 percent Ultraviolet (UV) protection?

Few parents think to protect their children’s eyes from sun damage when packing bags for day camp, summer school and outdoor activities, said LENSES’ optometrist Dr. Fendt Shearer.

“It’s an oversight which places children at a higher risk for retinal damage as their ocular lenses are still maturing,” explained the doctor whose full-service Palmdale-based practice is dedicated to cutting-edge optometry services that are changing the world of eye exams and the treatment of vision-related conditions in New Providence.

“Children’s ocular lenses are still immature, which means they’re not filtering UV light through their retina as efficiently as an adult. Too much exposure can pose a danger to the eye causing retinal damage.”

That’s because children’s pupils are larger and the lens inside the eye clearer, which enables more absorption of UV radiation into the eye. With 80 percent of an individual’s total UV exposure taking place during the first 18 years of life, too much absorption of ultraviolet rays may cause cataracts, non-cancerous growth on the eye, macular degeneration (the main cause of blindness in adults), or skin cancer of the eyelids.

“The right shades are more than a fashion statement. For children and workers spending more time outdoors the best protection is UV blocking sunglasses. Wearing a cap, visor, or broad-brimmed hat offers minimal protection when it comes to overexposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful rays,” said Dr Shearer, a member of the American Optometric Association.

“The proper eye protection from the glare of a ferocious sun are sunglasses with close to 100 percent protection across the UV spectrum, including UVA rays which are absorbed deep within the eyes and UVB rays, absorbed in the cornea and lens.”

Ironically, many persons buying sunglasses rarely check the UV rating prior to making the purchase, said the optometrist whose office is relentless in training staff to assist customers in find the perfect eyewear.

According to Dr Shearer, buyers should be aware of low-quality lenses, which could do more harm than good, by providing a false sense of security. LENSES only carries designer lines guaranteeing the quality of eyewear a buyer receives.

“Sunglasses with a medium tint are preferred. Lighter lenses offer little protection from the sun’s glare while dark lenses force the pupil to expand, allowing more UV light to enter the eyes,” Dr Shearer advised.

“These simple tips go a long way in helping to protect your vision and that of your loved ones while at work or play.”