Posted under Eye Health
You may think that sunglasses are just for protecting the eyes from damage caused by ultra-violet or blue light, but really they serve several different purposes for those with macular degeneration.
Of course the first and most important feature is that the lens provides 100 % protection from UV-A and UV-B light. Ultra-violet light exposure can damage your eye lids, the cornea, the lens and parts of the retina. If the label does not state “100% UV Protection” or “UV 400” don’t buy them. Wrap around and tight fitting glasses prevent UV light from entering your eyes from the sides or the top.
Often people equate a darker lens with better protection. But darker does not mean better and in fact can mean less visibility, especially for those with macular degeneration. The darker the lens the harder it is to see clearly. The reduced light makes it harder to navigate and to distinguish details.. You may have to try different shades of darkness to find out which one does not compromise your visibility.
Sensitivity to glare is a symptom of macular degenereration, especially when a person is out in bright sunlight. Even when a person is sitting in the shade, sun can reflect from the water, the road, the hood of a car, etc. producing harsh glare. Using a special filter, a polarized lens helps to eliminate glare that is reflected from these surfaces. Less glare means better clarity and visibility. Reduced glare also reduces eye fatigue. It’s possible to get prescription sunglasses with polarized lenses.
Macular degeneration also affects one’s sharp, detailed vision so it is important to have sunglasses that use a high quality lens. The lens material can determine the clarity. Look through the lens to be sure that there is no distortion and that the lenses themselves don’t give a blurred image. You don’t need a poor quality lens to add to your already loss of sharp, distinct vision.
The ability to distinguish contrast is diminished in those with AMD. However, some tinted lenses offer enhanced and better contrast. People with macular degeneration like the orange and yellow lenses because of the contrast enhancement and better depth perception. Because these colored lenses also increase color distortion, it is not recommended that you drive with glasses that have a blue blocker lens. It may be especially difficult to distinguish the colors of traffic light signals. A blue blocker lens also helps to reduce glare and does not make the world darker – so things do appear more visible because of the brightness.
To get the best feel for whether your new pair of sunglasses offer optical clarity, reduced glare and enhanced contrast you will need to try them on outside. Indoor lighting is very different and not comparable to a bright sunny day. For more tips on sunglasses and macular degeneration go to: