I wear my sunglasses at night!

In preparation for National Sunglasses Day, I have thrown away yet another pair of broken sunglasses. The latest were by far my most favorite! They were calico colored cat-eyed frames that fit my face perfectly. I have a pretty small face, so finding frames that fit me has always been a challenge. As I mourn the loss of one funky pair of sunglasses, I welcome two new pairs that are perfect for National Sunglasses Day, June 27.

I think Callie likes the flower sunglasses!

I picked up a new pair of black cat-eyed frames from the same place I got the calico ones, and an equally funky pair of floral shades. I figure I can decide on the day which ones I will wear. Neither pair was more than $15, which is good for me because I always lose or break sunglasses.

As I put on my new black shades and strutted out of the store into the sunlight, I wondered if my fashionable frames would actually protect me from the hot Atlanta sun. I contacted Dr. Al Baumstark, professor and chair of the chemistry department at Georgia State University. Here’s what he had to say:

Q&A

Why are sunglasses important to wear?
Dr. Baumstark: The sunlight (UV) has enough energy to break the molecular bonds in the eye. Wearing any type of glass frames will cause the light (especially UV) to bounce away from the eye. Tinted sunglasses will help with the brightness.
Do plastic sunglasses protect as well as glass sunglasses?
Dr. Baumstark: I believe most will. Most plastic sunglasses have a chemical compound in them or a slight change in physical structure that will protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays just as well as regular glass.
What is the difference between UV rays and visible light?
Dr. Baumstark: Visible light is the light we can see with the human eye. It is still a form of radiation. Ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays, are wavelengths that are above violet in the color spectrum (they are high energy) so we cannot see them. We can easily feel heat energy and know when we are getting burned. However, UV light is different; although we cannot see it, it is still breaking molecular bonds in the skin and eyes (the process that is similar to the aging process).

Are both important to protect from?

Dr. Baumstark: It is important to wear protective eyewear to preserve the eye. Our students and staff always protect their eyes when working with UV light sources because, although you can’t see the damage being done (example: lasers in the lab), one can burn the eye and damage the vision permanently. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can have this same effect and result in retina damage, cataracts or even blindness.

 

Black cat-eye sunglasses!

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2 Responses to I wear my sunglasses at night!

  1. UV rays are definitely nothing to underestimate. I would highly recommend sunglasses with UV400 (these block rays with wavelengt up to 400 nanometres – so 99% to 100% rays).

    But – Sunglasses day? You guys have this in USA? I didn’t hear about it at all! :D

    Jenda, from http://www.bestsunglassesforyou.com

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