Selecting Sunglasses Not Just for Looks

The hot summer weather we see in Texoma doesn't only affect your skin, but your eyes as well.

The longer you go without wearing proper sunglasses, the chances of getting cataracts and skin cancer on your eye lids increases.

As fashionable as your sunglasses may be, it shouldn't be the number one priority on your list.

Megan Koulovatos, aquatics manager at Castaway Cove knows all about the importance of selecting proper sunglasses.

"I didn't understand how bad cataracts were until I started working here as a life guard five years ago," said Koulovatos.

Crystal Wheeler, certified optician for Clarke Eye Care Center describes what cataracts is and how it forms.

"A protein build up forms clumps on your lens which creates a cloudiness on your lens which creates vision loss," said Wheeler.

Cataracts along with sunburn of the eyes, macular degeneration, and skin cancer of the eye lids forms from not wearing sunglasses or not wearing ones that have 100 percent UV protection.  All of those problems can create future vision loss.

"I just look at it and look to see if they fit right and if they look right I buy them," said Shayne Marsicano.

"I wasn't aware of it, that's very interesting information.  I shall look for 100 percent UV protection," said Tom Hoffman.

Most Americans don't know that the little sticker on a pair of shades matters so much. According to an optometric survey two-thirds of people don't pay much attention to what that percentage says.

"A lot of people just pick sunglasses for fashion but it is extremely a priority to consider UV protection when picking out shades," said Wheeler.

Wheeler describes a good pair of shades as one that covers your eyes and one that wraps around to the corner of your eye too.

Sunglasses aren't just seasonal either.  During cloudy days and during the winter time, the suns ultraviolet rays are still penetrating through, so it's best to wear them year round.

Of course the rays of the sun don't just create damage to your eyes so don't forget about the rest of your body.

"Slip, slop, slap, and rap.  You want to slip on a T-shirt when you're out in the sun, slop on sun tan lotion, slap on a hat, and wrap sunglasses on," said Kathy Rodriguez a volunteer for the American Cancer Society.

Doctors insist that if parents don't already do so to start checking your children's lenses for proper UV protection because most of the damage that occurs to the eyes happens before the age of 18.