Today is National Sunglasses Day, and we’re putting the focus squarely on eye health. Our chat with Clearly optometrist Dr. Justin Asgarpour reveals what a healthy eye looks like (pardon the pun) and which sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the sun this summer! —Vita Daily
Hi Dr. Asgarpour! Tell us a little about yourself to start.
I’m an Optometrist that is partnered with online eyewear retailer, Clearly. I’m very excited to be able to help many individuals ensure their eyes are healthy and happy throughout life. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with a company that is dedicated to providing access to healthy vision for everyone.
What does eye health mean to you?
Eye health is twofold for me. First, the eyes give us vision, a critical sense that we need to preserve through life. Proper eye health allows us to maintain vision as we age, allowing us to continue doing the things we love to do. Second, the eyes are the window to the body. Eye health gives us an indication of our overall health. A range of issues can manifest in the eye: anything from conditions that effect blood vessels, like diabetes, to inflammatory conditions that effect the gut like IBS, to neurological conditions that effect the brain, such as MS.
What does a healthy eye look like (pardon the pun)?
Evaluating eye health is very exciting. When looking at the eye we are looking at many different areas. From the front cornea, the window of the eye, to the back-retina area where vascular, and nervous tissue are present. It’s incredible to think that such a small part of the body packs so much information!
When it comes to the sun, how can we protect the health of our eyes?
Finding sunglasses that protect us from 99 to 100 per cent of UVA/UVB is critical! We always remember to protect our skin with lotion, but for some reason many of us neglect our eyes! Issues like eye cancer, macular degeneration (one of the most common forms of blindness in Canada), cataracts and many other issues can be a result of UV damage. Hats are also helpful in reducing UV damage and obviously, not looking directly at the sun!
What other things should we be doing, year-round, to keep our eyes healthy?
Our eyes are a part of our body. Healthy diet and exercise is critical, avoiding issues like high blood pressure and diabetes- which can cause blindness if left uncontrolled. Choosing not to smoke tobacco is also important, as it is a strong risk factor for macular degeneration. Regular annual or semi-annual eye exams are also critical; eye health is about prevention, so we need the opportunity to constantly screen our patients to be able to prevent an issue before it causes any irreversible damage. It’s important to understand that just because your vision is perfect, it does not mean your eye is healthy. Frequent check-ups are important!
So … what does your sunglasses style look like this summer?!
I’m alternating with a pair of Joseph Marc’s and a Ray Ban Clubmaster. It’s fun to accessorize!