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Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

Freelton Eye Care Dilated Eye Exam near you in Freelton, Ontario

Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

The Dilation Process

First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call our optometry practice today!

Freelton Eye Care, your Freelton eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your schedule after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.

Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Charlie Alfano treats patients from all over Freelton, Ontario with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Freelton Eye Care can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.

Physical

Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.

Emotional

Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.

Social

Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Charlie Alfano, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At Freelton Eye Care, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

Questions & Answers About Sunglasses With Dr. Alfano

Sunglasses from your Freelton, ON optometrist

Dr. Alfano Answers Your Questions About Sunglasses

Q: When can a person protect themselves from sun exposure?

“when can a person help”…..Sunglasses in addition to sunscreen for the skin is a crucial part of the total sun protection plan. Sunglasses will protect the eye and the delicate skin around the eyes that people are unable to apply creams. The eyes are susceptible all year around due to reflection like snow and rain covered roads that reflect the light to the eye even when the sun is less stronger but lower in the sky.

Q: What exactly are “ultraviolet rays?”

UV rays are light rays that are emitted from the Sun that are not visible to the human eye. These light rays are shorter in wavelength but have more energy and can cause damage to the skin and other tissues. Acutely this causes burns and over time can cause cell mutations that lead to cancer.

Q: How can people protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays?

Clothing, Wide rim hats, and sunglasses.

Q: Are sunglasses an important part of a sun protection plan?

Sunglasses are crucial for full protection.

Q: What type of sunglasses best protect from UV rays?

Optical quality sunglasses that have full UV protection. Polarized lenses also help with reflections off water and shiny surfaces near to the ground.

Q: I’ve heard of getting my skin sunburned, but can your eyes also get sunburned?

The eyes can UV burns. Intense UV burns can occur from things welding and happen very fast. Regular sun exposure causes irritation and sensitivity to light but happens more mildly and over a long period of time. People that live closer to the equator almost always show cumulative damage to the eye from chronic sun exposure.

Q: Do darker sunglasses mean better sun protection?

No. Some very dark tints only cover the visible light and may not have UV protection built in.

Q: Does having a prescription make it harder to get the right sunglasses?

Usually no. In some cases very high prescriptions can change the type of frame that can be outfitted but once in the right frame is chosen for the prescription is considered almost any prescription can be done in sunglasses.

Q: Do certain brands of sunglasses perform better than other brands?

Yes. Reputable brands that have experience and technology that is engineered for sun lenses can increase the performance and experience.

Scleral Lenses

If you are looking to wear contact lenses but have always had problems with comfort or have been told you’ll never be able to wear contact lenses because of an irregularly shaped cornea or other eye problem, it may be time to look into a type of contact lens known as a “scleral lens.”

Scleral contact lenses are large diameter rigid gas permeable contact lenses designed to pass over the cornea entirely, resting comfortably on the white of your eye, also known as the sclera. This allows scleral lenses to essentially replace the irregular surface of the cornea with a perfectly formed optical surface, giving you the kind of perfectly crisp vision you may not even be able to accomplish at all with eyeglasses or other forms of vision correction. This extra area also allows the lens to be a liquid reservoir to provide extra comfort for those who otherwise may have comfort issues with regular contact lenses.

Scleral lenses are noticeably larger than normal gas permeable lenses, varying in size from 14.5 mm to 24 mm across. The size of the scleral lens that a person needs is often determined by how complex their eye condition is. Mild keratoconus and abnormal astigmatism are usually considered less complicated and tend to require smaller, less costly, scleral lenses, whereas more advanced cases of keratoconus, severe and chronic dry eyes or advanced ocular diseases often are considered more complicated to treat, and usually require larger, more costly, scleral lenses.

Scleral lenses are always custom made to fit the unique contours of your eye, so fitting of this type of specialty lens requires specific expertise and a greater amount of time fitting than with standard gas permeable and soft contact lenses. In many cases, a digital map of your cornea will be created, displaying for your optometrist an image referred to as your “corneal topography.” This will help your eye doctor more easily find the right fit for you, and reduce the number of trial pairs and the amount of time spent in fitting.

Because of the increased amount of time that is required to obtain a corneal topography and customize a scleral lens that works best and is most comfortable for your eyes, as well as the larger material cost to produce, scleral lenses can be significantly more expensive than traditional gas permeable and soft contact lenses. Despite this, scleral lenses still remain the most comfortable and, in many cases, the only way, to obtain comfortable, accurate vision for those suffering from severe dry eye, keratoconus, and other similar eye conditions.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Your Vision

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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month in the USA and Canada, a time when those living with the disorder, their family members, friends, and community come together to raise awareness and share helpful information. People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and their loved ones are encouraged to share their stories, struggles, and successes in order to educate and support others.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Freelton, Ontario

The Parkinson’s Foundation has announced this year’s theme: #KeyToPD and Parkinson Canada advocates the same involvement. What is the key to living a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s? Patients, doctors, caregivers, and families are encouraged to use this hashtag on social media to give of their knowledge and experience.

In order to successfully manage the disorder, it’s essential to understand the disease, symptoms, and treatments. After all, knowledge is power.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control physical movement. It typically affects middle aged people and the elderly. Parkinson’s causes a decrease in the brain’s natural levels of dopamine, which normally aids nerve cells in passing messages within the brain. According to The Parkinson’s Foundation and Statistics Canada, the disorder affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, 55 000 Canadians, and 10 million globally.

Freelton Eye Care Eye Clinic and parkinsons and vision problems in Freelton, Ontario

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Freelton eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

How Does Parkinson’s Affect Vision?

Parkinson’s can have a significant impact on vision and ocular health. Patients with PD often find themselves unable to control blinking. Blinking is good for the eyes as it moisturizes the surface and clears it from foreign substances. Less blinking can cause Dry Eye Syndrome, resulting in itchy, red, or gritty-feeling eyes. Other people blink too much or can’;t keep their eyes open.

In more serious cases, Parkinson’s affects the nerves that help us see. Someone with PD may experience blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing color and contrast, problems with focus, and other visual symptoms.

In addition to the inherent impact of the disease, some of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms have known side effects including dry eyes, blurred eyesight and even hallucinations in advanced PD.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Although much research has been done on the subject, the exact cause of the disease isn’t really known. What doctors and scientists do know is that certain nerve cells located in the brain somehow break down. This damage interferes with both motor and non-motor functions.

Local parkinsons and vision problems in Freelton, Ontario

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Common Non-Visual Symptoms of Parkinson’s

PD affects other areas of the body that may or may not – depending on each patient – be related to their eye health and visual needs.

Some of the most common non-visual symptoms are:

  • Depression
  • Excessive saliva
  • Loss of smell
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • Stiff limbs
  • Tremors

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

A Caring Optometrist Near You

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Contact your eye doctor for any specific questions or concerns about your vision.

Call Freelton Eye Care on 905-659-3937 to schedule an eye exam with our Freelton optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

6 Crazy Holiday Eye Injuries to Avoid

Freelton | Vision Problems Are Common in Older Parkinson’s Patients

5 Reasons To Wear Sunglasses In The Fall

How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Preventing Contact Lens Overuse

Eye doctor,  blue eyed girl wearing contact lenses in Freelton, ON

Contact Lens Overuse

Contact lens overuse is an increasingly common eye condition that has significant potential to do serious damage to your eyes, and lead to major eye and vision issues in the future. Dr. Charlie Alfano of Freelton Eye Care in Freelton, ON comments “Contact lenses represent a great way to enhance how you look and feel while allowing you to maintain your best vision.

But, they pose a very real risk of damaging your vision if you don't know how to care for and use them properly. It is important to know what to do to allow safe wear of your contacts and avoid this increasingly prevalent and dangerous eye condition.

The 18 Hour/Week Rule

Eye care, girl trying on contacts in mirror in Freelton, ONYour eyes require oxygen just like a person and denying them the opportunity to breathe properly by overwearing your contact lenses can cause severe damage to your eyes. But, how much is too much when it comes to contact lens wear?

To answer this question, eye care professionals have come up with a standard benchmark: If you come in anywhere less than 18 hours a week with your contact lenses out, you are overwearing your contact lenses. When denied oxygen in this way, the eye may attempt to supply oxygen through neovascularization.

This process involves the growth of new blood vessels into parts of the eye that should remain clear and unblocked for your best vision. This can seriously hinder your ability to see, and do serious long-term damage as well.

Spare Glasses: Your First, Best Tool To Protect Your Vision

Eye doctor, Middle Aged Man Wearing Glasses in Freelton, ONIn working on reducing your contact lens wear, a spare pair of glasses can be your best friend. Studies have shown that wearing your glasses instead of your contacts as little as once or twice every week can significantly reduce your chances of developing symptoms of contact lens overuse by allowing your eyes to rest from the strain put on them by consistent contact lens wear.

Even on days when you choose to wear your contacts, it is possible to take steps to reduce your chances of over wearing your contacts. One easy way to do this is to wait to put your contacts in when you wake up in the morning. Wear your glasses during your morning prep, and put your contacts in as the very last step before leaving for the day.

Taking your contacts out as the first part of your bedtime prep is another great way to help yourself. These two methods combined can significantly reduce your chances of contact lens overuse without having to make a much conscious effort to do so.

Never Sleep With Your Contacts In

Eye care, girl sleeping in Freelton, ONSleeping with your contact lenses in is among the leading causes of contact lens overuse. This practice is among the most dangerous and damaging of the many poor lenses wearing choices a person can make.

Overnight contact lens wear, or even wearing them for a short nap during the day, may deny the eyes essential oxygen and hydration, possibly leading to vision-threatening infections and a painful scratch on the surface of the eye called a corneal abrasion, which can cause eye pain, light sensitivity, and excessive tearing. Removing your contact lenses, even for a short nap, is an essential step toward guarding your long-term eye health.

Follow Instructions, Save Your Eyes

Possibly the most important part of preventing contact lens overuse is paying close attention to the replacement schedule prescribed by your doctor. Timelines for contact lens replacement are established to protect your eyes from the potentially harmful consequences of contact lens deterioration and calcium deposits that build up on your contact lenses over time.

Many people believe that as long as their contacts are comfortable to wear, there is nothing wrong and no need to replace them. Optometrists have fought against this harmful myth for years. By the time contact lenses are uncomfortable, they may have already begun to damage your eyes in ways that may affect your sight long term.

Whether in an attempt to save money or through simple inattentiveness, wearing your contact lenses beyond their prescribed replacement date is an incredibly harmful practice that could have serious long-term consequences.

For any questions and further tips, contact Dr. Alfano today.

The Effect of Diabetes on Your Eyes

Eye care, senior man with diabetes in Freelton, ON

Diabetes is a very serious condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year throughout the world. A person with diabetes suffers from higher than healthy blood sugar levels as a result of the body's inability either to produce a sufficient amount of insulin or properly absorb the insulin being produced. Unfortunately, beyond the high blood sugar that is a direct result of diabetes, many
complications arise as an indirect result of diabetes, particularly when it comes to a person's eyes.

Dr. Charlie Alfano of Freelton Eye Care, in Freelton, ON explains, “Diabetic retinopathy is possibly the most serious eye condition related to diabetes. This occurs as a result of extended periods of high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy comes in two types: nonproliferative and proliferative.”

Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy is the earliest stage of retinopathy. This occurs when damaged blood vessels in the retina begin leaking fluids and blood into the eye. In some cases, deposits of cholesterol from the blood may leak into the retina.

Although diabetic retinopathy at this stage is rarely sight-threatening, sometimes swelling or thickening of the macula caused by fluid leaked into the eye causes the macula to function improperly. This is called macular edema and is the leading cause of vision loss caused by diabetes.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage of retinopathy in which many blood vessels in the eye have closed themselves off, preventing proper blood flow to the eyes. As a result, the retina begins to grow new blood vessels to attempt to make up for blood not being carried to the eyes through the now closed blood vessels.

Eye doctor, senior man suffering from diabetes in Freelton, ONThese new blood vessels are abnormal, however, and are not able to supply the retina with proper blood flow. At the same time, the new blood vessels often create scar tissue that may cause the retina to wrinkle or detach. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is generally more serious and sight-threatening than non-proliferative retinopathy because of the possibility of very serious complications such as traction retinal detachment, in which the wrinkling of the retina
causes distortions in vision and may become very severe if large parts of the macula or retina become detached.

People with diabetes are also at significantly increased risk of developing cataracts, a clouding of the vision caused by clumps of protein forming in the lens of the eye. Although cataracts usually affect people in their elderly years, diabetics tend to develop cataracts at a younger age, and their condition progresses much faster. In cataracts that cause significant blockage of the lens, the lens must be removed and replaced by an artificial lens in order to restore vision. This is not without risks, however. Studies have shown that a person's retinopathy can worsen and glaucoma may start to develop as a result of removing and replacing the lens.

In reference to another serious condition resulting from diabetes, Dr. Charlie Alfano comments, “People with diabetes are at a 40% higher risk for contracting glaucoma, and this risk increases as a person ages. This condition occurs when fluid pressure inside the eye builds up and damages the optical nerve. With glaucoma, the damage is done slowly, and a person may not realize they are losing their vision until
significant damage has been done.”

It is important to have regular eye exams to monitor for warning signs of these and other conditions that result from diabetes. For more information, contact Dr. Charlie Alfano today.

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Bosch & Lomb daily disposables

Proper contact lens care can be a daunting task for many. Making sure that you, or your children, are using the right contact lens solution, in the right amount and changing it every day, as well as sticking to your doctor recommended replacement schedule every 2 weeks to a month, is a burden that most are not ready to handle.

As a matter of fact, recent studies reveal that as few as 2% of all contact lens wearers actually clean and store their contact lenses as they are supposed to. As a result, the majority of people wearing rigid gas permeable or bi-weekly and monthly disposable contacts, expose their eyes daily to a host of harmful bacteria that can grow on their lenses over time and cause serious eye infections that have the potential to do severe damage to their eyes, up to and including total blindness.

Fortunately, a significantly safer contact lens alternative does exist: daily disposable contact lenses.

With daily disposable contact lenses, you are able to experience crystal clear vision every day, without the worry or stress of proper storage and cleaning. Simply throw today's pair away before bed, and enjoy the benefits and comfort of a brand new, clean, crisp pair of contact lenses the very next morning. Contact lens related infections and eye conditions that result from improper cleaning and storage are a thing of the past. Now, you can enjoy the simple pleasures of crisp, clean, comfortable vision at the start of every day.

Another important advantage of daily disposable contact lenses is that there is no longer a need for you to worry about being forgetful when it comes your contact lens replacement schedule. Many people are not aware of the extent of damage that can be done when contact lenses are not changed for a clean, new pair on time.

Wearing of contact lenses until they become uncomfortable to wear, and then switching them out, is an all-too-common and very damaging practice. Most people are unaware that by the time their contact lenses feel uncomfortable on the eye, serious damage may have already been done. With daily disposables, if you can remember that every morning starts with a new pair, then you're set.

Daily contact lenses are a great way to start enjoying stress free, crystal clear vision every day. For more information, and to find out if daily disposable contact lenses are right for you, contact your eye doctor today!

Eye See Eye Learn – Free Eye Glasses for Your Child

eye see eye learn graphic, eye doctor, Freelton, ON

We are proud to participate in the Eye See…Eye Learn program, offering FREE comprehensive eye exams to junior kindergarten students.

Free Eye Glasses for Your Child

The eye exams are covered under provincial health insurance (or OHIP) when you show your child’s health card. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the eye exam. If the child requires a pair of glasses, they will receive them FREE of charge courtesy of our participating sponsors.

The Eye See…Eye Learn program was developed to raise awareness among parents of the importance of having their children’s eyes checked upon starting school. Children, who cannot see the board, focus on a picture or follow words in a book may struggle to achieve their full learning potential. Vision problems can also impact their hand-eye coordination for physical activities and even impact their social development. In fact, 80 percent of learning comes directly through vision.

The Ontario Association of Optometrists recognizes the important link between eye health and learning and recommends comprehensive eye examinations for all children entering kindergarten. The Eye See…Eye Learn program will help make sure our kindergarten students get the best start to learning.

Optometrist in Freelton – Book an Eye Exam in Freelton

The Importance of Sunglasses

Couple wearing sunglasses - Eye Doctor, Freelton, ONFinding the right pair of sunglasses to fit your personal style is often an important part of making your summer outfit picture perfect. But beyond “picture perfect,” a carefully chosen pair of sunglasses can grant you great health advantages and help safeguard your eyes against the elements.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a familiar concept to many and the damage it can cause to your skin is well known as well. Much less well known, however, is the damage that UV radiation can do to your eyes. Too much UV radiation can give your eyes a kind of 'sunburn of the eye,' called photokeratitis, and excessive UV exposure over your lifetime can significantly increase your chances of developing serious problems with your eyes later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Expert studies suggest that high-quality sunglasses can significantly reduce the amount of UV rays entering your eyes, reducing your risk of photokeratitis and long-term damage. Furthermore, since they protect the sensitive skin around the eyes from receiving too much direct UV radiation, wearing sunglasses may also help to reduce wrinkles.

Excessive UV radiation is not the only risk sunglasses can help you reduce. Everyday reflective surfaces, such as snow, water, road surfaces and car windshields, reflect a great deal of light and can do significant damage to your eyes with extended exposure. Good sunglasses can do a great deal to protect your eyes from this glare. Furthermore, sunglasses can help prevent potentially life-threatening situations by reducing the chances that bright glare may momentarily blind you while driving or biking.

Quality sunglasses are also very important for reducing eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. The opening at the front of the eye, called the pupil, controls the amount of light that enters your eye. In conditions in which a great deal of light is present, such as when you walk outside on a very sunny day, the pupil may be unable to constrict enough to keep light to a comfortable level, causing you to squint in order to further limit the amount of incoming light. Muscle fatigue associated with constant squinting and the continued constriction of the pupil can cause headaches, fatigue, and eyestrain.

As a general rule, any time you step outside, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. However, there are certain times when this is particularly true: In the summer UV radiation is at least 3 times higher than it is in the winter, and at the beach, no matter the season, reflection from the water can be quite intense. In these situations, sunglasses are an absolute must for proper eye health. This is also true if you've just had any kind of surgery or are taking medicine that makes your eyes extra sensitive to light.

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