West St. Paul: 651-457-2020
Stillwater: 651-439-4265

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are Fashionable and Functional

While sunlight is a beautiful thing, too much of anything can be harmful. In addition to making a unique fashion statement, sunglasses are also functional and can prevent sun damage to the eyes to improve and protect vision.

From sunburn to skin cancer, almost everyone is aware of the damage ultraviolet (UV) radiation can inflict on their skin. However, very few understand the dangers of UV exposure to their eyesight. In fact, while more than eight out of 10 Americans know that extended UV exposure can cause skin cancer, fewer than one out of 10 know it can harm their eyes. Additionally, 20 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that UV damage is reversible.

Because so few people understand the detrimental effects of UV exposure, many aren’t taking the best steps to protect and preserve their vision. For example, less than half of Americans get a regular eye exam, which can be instrumental in detecting and preventing serious vision problems and eye disease. Additionally, more than four out of 10 people don’t wear UV blocking sunglasses during the winter months when UV rays are still a threat.

Sunglasses Quality Matters

Did you know that wearing an inadequate pair of sunglasses can be worse than wearing no sun protection at all? If a pair of sunglasses offers no UV protection, the wearer is actually increasing his or her exposure to UV rays. The inadequate sunglasses will block some of the light, causing the pupil of the eye to enlarge and allow more light in. This also lets in more UV light, increasing the amount of damaging light reaching the retina. Quality sunglasses are designed to absorb UVA and UVB rays. However, not all sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays, and therefore may not be effective in preventing sun damage to the eyes.

Considering the potential damage that UV exposure can cause to eyesight, everyone should be wearing lenses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Polarized Lenses Block Glare

Polarized lenses are helpful in blocking polarized light. This type of light is created by reflected light. When bright light bounces off of horizontal surfaces such as water, cars, snow, or the highway, it can cause intense glare. Bright glares make it difficult or impossible to see. Polarized lenses can be beneficial for certain situations, including driving, skiing, and fishing because they cut the scattered light causing a glare. Fishermen, for example, often use polarized lenses to help them see beneath the water and better locate fish. While most polarized lenses have built-in UV-blocking features, it is important to check the lens labeling to determine if the sunglasses offer full protection. Regardless of the type of sun protection chosen, the quality of the lens is important.  

Stop by to see us at Dakota Eye Care Associates to be sure your sunglasses provide 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. If they don’t, we can help you pick out a fashionable pair that offers function and protection, too!

We are happy to be back seeing routine eye care! When you come in for your next appointment you will see we have made several changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the following:

1)  The number of patients we see in a day is reduced.  Both the number of available exam appointments and optical encounters will be kept to a minimum to allow for appropriate social distancing and limit the number of patients in our clinic at any given time.

2) When you arrive for your appointment, we will have you fill out a COVID questionnaire and we will screen everyone’s temperature upon arrival. If you have a mask of your own, please bring it along to your appointment.  Otherwise, we will provide a mask if you do not already have one. It will be required that you wear a mask for the entirety of your visit within the clinic. 

3) We will continue curbside dispenses contact lens and eye vitamins.  If you need to pick up any of these items, please call our front desk and a staff member will bring them directly to your car.

4) We require that patients arrive for their exams alone.  Patients can only be accompanied by one other person if they are either a) a minor or b) have mental/physical disabilities.  Again, any patient or caretaker entering the building must wear a mask.  Any accompanied person will be screened for temperature as well.

5) In addition, all of our staff and doctors will have their temperature checked prior to beginning their work day.  All staff will have proper PPE compliant with new regulations.  Although it may seem impersonal, we at Dakota Eye Care are working and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of both our staff and patients.  Our new policies in regards to social distancing, clinic hygiene, etc. will be posted for you to review.

We have spent the several weeks ensuring we're in compliance with every CDC hygiene guideline for safety of our doctors, staff and patients.  We are excited to get back to work, but in the safest environment possible.  If you have any questions on our new protocols, do not hesitate to ask.  We hope to see you soon and please stay safe!