Ophthalmologist: ‘Cheap sunglasses protect as well as expensive designer glasses’ | Right away

The sun is shining. However, not everyone wears sunglasses. How bad is that? Dr Suzanne Yzer, ophthalmologist at Eye Hospital Rotterdam: “The importance of sunglasses is still often underestimated.”

Is sunglasses important in summer?

“Yes. Studies on people who have spent a lot of time in the sun, such as fishermen, people at the equator and in the mountains, show that they get cataracts on average ten years earlier. They are also more likely to suffer from a severe form of macular degeneration, wear and tear of the yellow spot.”

“The damage is caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Sunglasses filter out this radiation and protect the eyes in this way.”

When do you need to put on sunglasses?

“When the sun’s radiation is so strong that you have to smear the skin so as not to burn. Then the UV radiation is so strong that it can also damage the eye. Especially in bright sun, in the snow, in the mountains or on the water, where the light is brighter, it is important to wear sunglasses.”

“Choose glasses with large glasses and a matching frame. This prevents light from appearing on the sides, top, or bottom of the eye.”

Suzanne Yzer, Ophthalmologist at Eye Hospital Rotterdam

What about children? Do they have to wear sunglasses?

“For children, sunglasses are especially important. Her pupil is slightly wider and the lens is brighter than that of adults. This allows more harmful radiation to reach the retina. If young children don’t want to wear glasses, protect their eyes with a tinted hat. And keep them away from the sun between noon and 3 p.m.”

What kind of glasses do you choose?

“Make sure it has ‘uv400’ or the words ‘100 percent UV’ on it. This applies to almost all sunglasses sold in the Netherlands.”

So it doesn’t matter if you buy expensive or cheap glasses?

“Not to protect against UV radiation, no. Whether sunglasses at the gas station, in the drugstore, in the eyewear shop or in a designer shop, they all protect equally from the sun.”

So what is the price difference that this causes?

“Brand and styling. In addition, more expensive glasses often have polarized glasses. They do not protect better, but they are more convenient because they filter the glare on the road, for example. They are often better. In this respect, it is worth buying more expensive glasses, because you often put on a nice seat goggle.”

What else do you need to pay attention to?

“Choose glasses with large glasses and a matching frame. This prevents light from appearing on the sides, top, or bottom of the eye. Large glasses also protect the skin around your eyes from burning. This is a part of the body that we often neglect.”