I always hated wearing sunglasses. I felt as if I was missing out on the beauty of the daytime by wearing shades. The ophthalmologist asked me once if I ever stared at the sun as a child. Now that I think of it, I probably did. Why wouldn’t I? I was told that having Stargardt’s and wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat is like going running and wearing sneakers. They told me I must protect my eyes from UV rays in order to slow the progression of vision loss. That means wearing shades even on overcast days.
Of course, I searched for sunglasses made specifically for people with Stargardt’s. I found this post to be really informative however, it is a bit outdated. Eye Protection
I checked out the Oakley website and they currently have a lens material called Plutonite that stops every wavelength of ultraviolet radiation from the sun‘s thermonuclear furnace. This is referred to as UVA, UVB, and UVC protection (100% protection). This includes the infamous blue light at 400 nanometers that our opthalmologists warn us against. But Oakley’s shades are very expensive and not as fashionable as I would prefer.
It’s okay to wear cheaper sunglasses!
Sunglasses are required by law to protect from UV rays. However, a pair of sunglasses that does not comply with government regulation can be very harmful. Dark shades with no UV protection cause your pupils to dilate and do not absorb the UV rays. The tint of your glasses is not an indicator of the amount of UV protection. I bought the fabulous shades I’m wearing in the cover photo for only $6 and they are UV400. A UV400 sign indicates that the lens will absorb wavelengths of 400 nanometers and below. It is ideal to opt for shades that wrap around to provide full coverage but it’s up to you to wear what you like. I usually try to buy big lenses that sit close to my face.
Here’s an article that discusses UV protection and evaluates a selection of shades. Safe to Wear
I have decided to start collecting affordable fashion foward sunglasses. Despite my past hatred towards them, I have gotten more comfortable wearing them now. Whether you have Stargardt’s or not, it is so important to protect your eyes!
“The sun never sets on a badass.” – Woman on the bus