Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - Increasingly, consumers are being warned of the dangers posed by too much exposure to the sun. The good news is that there are steps they can take to protect themselves and their family and still enjoy their time outdoors.

The problem, say experts, is that exposure to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time can cause a condition much like sunburn of the eye, called photokeratitis.

Long-term exposure to UV radiation, however, can be more serious. Even small amounts of UV radiation over a period of many years can increase a person’s chances of developing a cataract and may cause damage to the retina, a nerve-rich lining of the eye that is used for seeing.

In addition, the longer the eyes are exposed to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration years later.

Polarized Lenses Can Help

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends wearing quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and wearing a hat or cap with a wide brim whenever you spend time outdoors. Also, certain contact lenses can provide additional UV protection.

“UV protection is greatly important at all ages; however, as the eyes age, UV rays can become even more harmful,” said Al Gleek, lens consultant for Safilo, the Group of which Polaroid Sunglasses is a part.

“Without adequate UV protection, the over-40 adult can experience loss of some night vision, quicker onset of cataracts, light sensitivity, the dimming of brightness of overall vision, and possible macular degeneration, a condition of the retina that causes a loss of fine detail in vision. Bottom line: Good-quality sunglasses and regular prescription glasses with UV A, B and C protection are a must,” Gleek added.

Wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses can help address both problems by eliminating glare and filtering out harmful ultraviolet rays. By reducing exposure to UV rays, polarized glasses help to reduce the likelihood of a number of eye problems later in life.

An Innovative Approach

One of the latest developments in polarized lens production is Polaroid’s Thermofusion technology. This innovative production process was developed specifically for the company’s UltraSight lenses. It makes it possible to form lenses in a way that fully protects the polarizer that is at the core of the lens.

Specifically, the company is able to create lenses that are thicker in the middle and tapered toward the edges. This helps to preserve sharp images so wearers can perfectly see sizes, shapes and distances perfectly clearly without any eye stress or headache.

Sunglass Shopping Tips

• Remember, darker lenses aren’t necessarily better at filtering out UV rays.

• Inexpensive glasses may not be a bargain. Often, cheap imitations fail to provide the same level of protection as authentic polarized lenses.

• Try on several different pairs until you find the most comfortable fit and the pair that looks the best on you.

• Think of matching different color lenses with different purposes. For example, gray for everyday wear, yellow for driving at dawn or dusk, brown for skiing and boating or vermilion for golf.

To learn more, you can visit www.polaroideyewear.com or www.solsticesunglasses.com