Things that will help you choose sunglasses not only for style but also for protection.

What precautions should be remembered when looking into direct sun rays?

It is advisable to use sunglasses or hats as protection from direct sun rays when staying outdoors in sunny weather. Most importantly - one should definitely avoid looking directly into the sun or other bright light objects. This also includes monitoring the sun during an eclipse because then the pupil is more dilated so more UV radiation than usual passes through. This UV radiation may cause permanent damage to the retina, which is the light receptor area of the eye. Mostly all people automatically turn their heads away from very bright objects which is actually the defense mechanism against such damage.

What should be taken into consideration when choosing sunglasses?

Usually when people want to buy sunglasses, the aspects they consider primarily are design and the tone of the lenses (gray or brown, for example) but, in order to choose the right sunglasses, the wearer's life style and habits should be considered more seriously. Almost all sunglasses available in optics have 'UV 400' standart protection but for those who ski, drive a car, hike or spend a lot of time near water, it would be advisable to use the polarized coating. There are 4 degrees of lens toning density from which the 2nd and the 3rd are the most commonly used ones in daily life. 4th degree toned lenses are not suited for driving a car due to safety reasons but at the same time they are perfect for hiking or rock climbing. People extra sensitive to light 4th degree toning may also be suitable for daily activities. For physically active people lighter and curved glasses that also cover the sides would be more comfortable and practical.

Remember that sunglasses are meant to bring us comfort so feel free to tell the optician or seller your habits and wishes so they would be able to provide the best choice for you.

What are the symptoms that indicate damage to the eyes after exposure to bright light? What to do?

Most oftenly people experience a gray spot in their visual field after a sudden glare of bright light which disappears quite quickly. However, when the exposure to bright light is long, solar retinopathy may develop. The symptoms include lowered visual acuity and central or paracentral scotoma (loss of visual field). Usually it fades over time and symptoms disappear but in more serious cases retinal damage may persist and become permanent. If you experience any symptoms or discomfort it is always advisable to visit a doctor.

The best way to prevent such damage is avoiding looking at the sun or bright objects for a long time, especially if you are using binoculars or telescope. Always wear sunglasses in brigh tlight environment!

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