By. Dr. Terry Weyman
When I was a young kid, I was a beach lifeguard. One of the days I chose fashion over performance and wore a trendy pair of cheap sunglasses (but they were cool). Later that night I kept seeing spots and those spots kept getting worse. After seeing the Eye Doctor I realized in ONE day I had burned my retina and would have permanent damage. ONE DAY. Ever since that day, I have looked at sunglasses in a whole new light!
Being a Sports Chiropractor I am out in the sun a lot! Whether it’s on the side of a Motocross track, in a feed zone of a major bike race, or on a lake running a slalom course, I protect my eyes FIRST.
Your eyes are one of the most important organs for sport. Why? Well, your head follows your eyes and consequently, your body follows your head. Your eyes are so instrumental in initiating all quick movements such as seeking out that perfect line, looking ahead to spot that deadly situation or finding your receiver that if your eyes are not working properly you will NEVER perform at your best.
The problem with wearing trendy or cheap sunglasses is that the lenses are tinted instead of treated to prevent UV light from getting to your eyes. A tinted lens will allow your pupils to dilate or expand which will allow more damaging UV rays into your retina (this is what happened to me). UV light can damage the eyes by essentially giving the cornea a sunburn or, in the long run, causing cataracts, retinal and macular degeneration. A good pair of sunglasses that blocks UV can not only help you see better but improve your image since most of the good glasses look great. All Eye Doctors recommend sunglasses that block over 98 percent of all UV.
Unfortunately, the non-prescription sunglasses industry (cheap sunglasses) is weakly regulated, and even bold words in its advertising such as “UV absorbing” or “blocks most UV light” might mean nothing.
The brand I now wear, TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear. Not because of the name, but for their lenses. I tried on a pair and was blown away on how clear everything was. The lenses are the best, and they were light and very comfortable. Then I went on line to look at the research and saw how many awards they have won for not only design but for their innovation with lenses and protection. This is a company known for watches but their Avant-Garde Eyewear are amazing.
What ever Sunglasses your chose, know this. You only get one set of eyes. Your eyes are not only the window to your soul but the initialator of movement. The lighter the eye color the more you need to protect them. My advise in everything, don’t go cheap on your health and never live with regrets. You don’t want to “burn your eyes” because you were wearing some cheap glasses “because I am always losing them, or sit on them and these were cool”. The cost of TRYING to repari your eyes will far exceed the cost of a good pair of Sunglasses.
Dr.Terry Weyman is the clinic Director of Chiropractic Sports Institute and has been involved with Professional sports for over 20 years. Visit his website at www.gotcsi.com