7 tips for pick­ing shades

Los Angeles Times - - MIND & BODY - BY ALENE DAW­SON health@la­times.com

Let’s face it: You’re nei­ther a her­mit nor a vam­pire, so when you leave your home you’re walk­ing straight into UV ra­di­a­tion. ¶ Pro­tect­ing your skin from sun dam­age is a no-brainer. But “your eyes can def­i­nitely get sun dam­aged as well,” says Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wach­ler of the Boxer Wach­ler Vi­sion In­sti­tute in Bev­erly Hills. ¶ Choos­ing sun­glasses — the right sun­glasses — is about much more than just look­ing cool on a hot day. “Peo­ple should think sun­glasses are like sun­screen for your eyes,” Boxer Wach­ler said. Here are some buy­ing tips:

1 Read the la­bel “UV ul­tra­vi­o­let ra­di­a­tion is what causes most eye prob­lems … we see it in peo­ple when they have re­ally not been dili­gent about wear­ing sun­glasses,” Boxer Wach­ler said. He added that eye sun dam­age can cause a va­ri­ety of prob­lems, in­clud­ing cataracts, can­cers and even caus­ing the whites of peo­ple’s eyes to be­come chron­i­cally blood­shot. The Amer­i­can Academy of Oph­thal­mol­ogy rec­om­mends buy­ing sun­glasses la­beled UV400 or 100% UV pro­tec­tion.

2 Dodge the glare “Po­lar­ized sun­glasses cut down glare from other sur­faces,” Boxer Wach­ler said. This is equally im­por­tant if you’re into surf­ing, boat­ing, fish­ing, snow­board­ing, ski­ing or just driv­ing on a sunny day. Make sure the la­bel says “po­lar­ized” be­fore you buy.

3 Catch more UVs “Wrap-arounds are prefer­able to sun­glasses that just go straight across and leave a big open­ing on the sides where a lot of sun sneaks in around the frame,” says Boxer Wach­ler. Not your style? Try (cur­rently trending) over­size glasses.

4 Shat­ter-proof “Sports pro­tec­tion for eyes is very im­por­tant,” Boxer Wach­ler said. “You can ex­pe­ri­ence trauma to the eye by an el­bow or hand … from a mi­nor ir­ri­ta­tion, to get­ting poked, to a cornea abra­sion, to op­tic nerve dam­age … where you can go blind in the eye.” Im­pact-re­sis­tant ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing poly­car­bon­ate and Trivex sold at the David Kind eye­wear shop in Venice can pro­tect eyes from fast-mov­ing ob­jects in gen­eral.

5 Price isn’t ev­ery­thing “We found no cor­re­la­tion with UV pro­tec­tion and price,” Boxer Wach­ler said. Just re­mem­ber Rule No. 1: Choose glasses of­fer­ing UV400 or 100% UV Pro­tec­tion.

6 When driv­ing … Re­mem­ber the photo that went vi­ral a few years ago, af­ter pub­li­ca­tion in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine, of a ca­reer truck driver with strik­ing sun dam­age on the left side of his face? That ef­fect, from driv­ing into the sun’s harm­ful rays all day, is more com­mon than you might think. “I see more left-sided can­cer and cataracts in pa­tients as well,” Boxer Wach­ler said. He rec­om­mends a clear, UV pro­tec­tion win­dow tint for side win­dows in ad­di­tion to wear­ing wrap-around sun­glasses while driv­ing.

7 Got color? Tinted glasses are not nec­es­sar­ily re­lated to UV pro­tec­tion, but choos­ing glasses with a tint can help those who need clar­ity, es­pe­cially in low-light con­di­tions. “I know peo­ple who do tar­get or com­pet­i­tive shoot­ing at gun ranges,” Boxer Wach­ler says. “They use yel­low and or­ange sun­glasses be­cause it can im­prove con­trast.”

Maui Jim

Maui Jim Is­land Time. About $229 and up. maui­jim.com

Dis­trict Vi­sion

GEAR Dis­trict Vi­sion Kaishiro gray black rose sun­glasses. $199. dis­trictvi­sion.com

Privé Eye­wear

Privé Eye­wear, the God­fa­ther. $29.95. privere­vaux.com


Ray-Ban Blaze Club­mas­ter in a va­ri­ety of col­ors. $195. ray-ban.com


Whistler II surf sun­glasses. $109. sil­ver­fish.com

Ste­fan Baier Adi­das

Zonyk Aero Pro with poly­car­bon­ate lens. About $179. adi­das sporteyewear.com

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