Despite their popularity as a fashion accessory, sunglasses are an important aspect of eye protection. This is especially true for the elderly, who are more prone to eye-related illnesses caused by UV radiation, most commonly from sunshine. Vision deteriorates as people age, making them more susceptible to different eye disorders. Seniors are more susceptible to sunlight, thus regular eye care is critical for them.
Why Sunglasses are Important for Seniors?
Sunglasses are most helpful in protecting seniors against harmful UV rays, thereby avoiding various eye diseases and conditions that they can succumb to as they age. The perfect sunglasses for seniors also help to delay wrinkles and cataracts, shielding them from distracting glare while driving and safeguarding against glaucoma-related light sensitivity.
In addition, the right pair of sunglasses enables them to reflect and accentuate their personality, thereby helping them to look sharp.
Problems Caused by Sunlight for Seniors
Exposure to sunlight can cause a variety of eye disorders. The most prevalent of them are corneal irritation and inflammation (keratitis) and lens clouding (cataract). It may also play a role in certain types of eye cancer. Cataracts are a frequent eye ailment in the elderly that can result in visual loss. Although it is reversible by operations such as lens replacement surgery, it is best avoided or, at the very least, the degree of the sun damage is limited.
While it is impossible to avoid sunshine in everyday life, using sunglasses to reduce its impact is essential for seniors. The most prevalent cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly, age-related macular degeneration, may be linked to high-energy visual light between the blue to the violet range.
Types of Sunglasses for Seniors
- Polarized and photochromic lenses – these are useful for reducing glare
- Mirror-coated lenses – these help to diminish the intensity of light
- Blue-blockers – these sunglasses may help to block high-energy visible light
- Polycarbonate lenses – they are impact-resistant and great for an active senior.
Because sunglasses are designed differently and for different purposes, it is vital to contact an ophthalmologist or optometrist for information on appropriate eyewear protection. The amount of UVA and UVB blocked determines sun protection. Sunglasses should block 95% to 100% of UV light with wavelengths ranging from 380nm to 400nm, denoted as UV380 or UV400. As a result, cosmetic sunglasses are not appropriate for seniors and should be avoided as a form of UV-protective eyewear.
Use of Sunglasses
Regardless of the weather, sunglasses should always be worn when outside in the daytime. In other words, wearing sunglasses is equally as important on overcast days as it is on sunny ones. It is especially crucial right after following eye surgery when the eyes are still healing.
Using some types of lenses that can lower vision clarity, alter color perception, or otherwise impair vision should be avoided by seniors. This is because mobility could be impacted, and it may even result in accidents like falls that could cause significant injury.
Things to Consider When Selecting Sunglasses for Seniors
The shape of your Face
Finding the correct pair of sunglasses requires making a frame selection that complements your facial shape. It’s not a good idea to wear glasses that can overpower your face or facial characteristics. The tips below will help you choose the appropriate type of frame;
- Round face – Spherical features are balanced by square or rectangular frames, giving the impression that it is longer and slimmer. Avoid thin, rimless, round frames since they draw attention to the fullness and make your already round face look even rounder.
- Oval face – This is the most adaptable facial shape. Frames with a strong bridge that is geometric, square, and rectangular fit the oval face type.
- Diamond face – This is best suited for spectacles with an oval, cat-eye, or round shape. Avoid wearing boxy, narrow frames since they will highlight how wide your cheekbones are.
- Square face – A square face looks best with spectacles that can balance the cheekbones while softening the angles, such as round, oval, or colored frames with a wide and thin appearance. If you have a square face, stay away from boxy and angular eyewear.
- Heart-shaped face – A heart-shaped face looks best with glasses that can balance your chin’s narrowness with the width of your forehead. Look for glasses in a round, rectangular, oval or aviator style.
Light Protection, Sensitivity and Glaucoma
Elderly people are more susceptible to headaches and driving mishaps caused by glare from sunshine, headlights from approaching automobiles, and other projecting lights. It is best to opt for wrap-around, anti-glare lenses that offer 100% UVA/UVB protection.
Photophobia is a consequence of glaucoma, which makes the eyes more sensitive to light and glare. Go for high-quality wraparound lenses that block 100% of UV rays and +75% of visible light if you’re an elderly person with glaucoma and light sensitivity.
Cataracts develop when eye proteins clump together and degrade, making the lens of the eye hazy and obstructing light. UV rays from the sun make cataracts worse. The best sunglasses for older people with cataracts are those that provide 100% UVA/UVB protection.
Frequent exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles and Crow’s feet around the corners of your eyes. To protect the sensitive skin around your eyes, choose sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection, a wider frame, and lenses that cover the skin up to your cheekbones.
Sunglasses are available to fit your lifestyle. There are specialized sunglasses and frames available depending on your activity and lifestyle, i.e., whether you are a physically active person who enjoys fitness, travels frequently, wants to explore outside, or even if you frequently lose or damage your glasses.
The color and design of your sunglasses should reflect your personality type. For a stylish, put-together appearance, you can match the frames of your sunglasses to your attire to exhibit it to the fullest. If you can, invest in a variety of eyeglasses in various styles so that they completely capture your personality.
Sunglasses are an investment in eyesight, one of life’s most crucial functions. A high-quality pair of branded sunglasses may be expensive. However, several affordable alternatives offer 100% UVA/UVB protection. Several discount options are also available for sunglasses in well-known retailers and online.