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12 Things You Should Know Before You Buy Sunglasses

NEW YORK (Apr 1, 2014)

Overexposure to the sun not only wreaks havoc on your skin, but can also damage your eyes. Dr. George Cioffi, chief of ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Christopher Starr, director of refractive surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian /Weill Cornell Medical Center, offer facts about sunglasses and sun exposure that everyone should know before purchasing their next pair.

  • Wear sunglasses year-round. Even on cloudy days the UV index can be dangerously high.
  • Overexposure to the sun can cause damage to the cornea, tissue growth on the surface of eyes, and even cancer of the eyelids
  • Sun damage may contribute to the development of cataracts
  • All protective eyewear should have a side shield protection or wraparound the eye so light cannot enter the eye from side reflections
  • Check the label. Sunglasses labeled UV400 offer more than 95 percent UV protection, which is the recommended level of protection (not all sunglasses are labeled).
  • People who wear contact lenses that offer UV protection should still wear sunglasses
  • Sunglasses don't have to be dark to offer protection. Neutral gray, amber, brown or green lenses all block at least 80 percent of transmissible light.
  • Children's eyes are not able to block UV rays as well as adults' eyes.
  • People with light-colored eyes are at higher risk for sun damage to the eyes and need to protect them all year round
  • If you don't have wraparound sunglasses, wear a hat with at least a three-inch brim that can block sunlight from overhead
  • Sunglasses are helpful for preventing the drying effect caused when wind meets contact lenses
  • Small infants should always be shaded from direct exposure to the sun

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,353 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 220,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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