Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive
My son is a tennis player and is out in the sun for long periods of time. He wears a hat but should he also be wearing sunglasses? I have heard from some experts that sunglasses are actually not good for your eyes.
UV-blocking sunglasses are actually very good for your eyes. Excessive exposure to UV light reflected off sand, water or pavement can damage the eyes' front surface. In addition to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, sun exposure can lead to lesions and tumors that may be cosmetically unappealing and frequently require surgical removal. Everyone should wear 100 percent UV-blocking sunglasses when doing outdoor activities. In addition, playing tennis puts your son's eyes at risk for a sports-related injury. Athletes should wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour. Protective eyewear won't harm your son's performance and could well save his sight.
Answered by: Tamara R. Fountain, MD
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