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Every angler has at one time or another has forgotten something in their rush to leave for a fishing trip. Once,this old writer started a fishing trip to Canada without my tackle box.
Fortunately, my daughter called alerting me to the tackle box, and met me to save the day, even if there was a brief delay.
A recent news release about forgetting sunglasses, caught my attention. I admit a sunglass dependency. I even wear them while driving on cloudy days.
According to the news release from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, It’s disheartening when that something you forget is sunglasses. Squinting and shielding your eyes for hours takes some of the fun out of the experience.
“More than just the damage or discomfort from the bright light, you start getting eye strain because you’re squinting to make your pupil even smaller because your pupil doesn’t get small enough naturally,” said Dr. Seema Capoor, an associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Kentucky. “The squinting causes brow ache and tension headaches. It’s much more comfortable and safer with sunglasses.”
However, not all sunglasses are created equal. The best cut glare and make it easier to see into the water but also block the sun’s harmful rays.
Amid a sea of brands and styles and lens types and colors at a wide range of prices, Like mattresses, it seems there always are sunglass sales. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choices, so stick to some basic criteria when selecting a pair, says Capoor.
“For something like fishing where you’ve got a lot of reflection off the surface of the water and you’re out in direct sunlight my recommendation would be to go with more of the wraparound style of sunglasses,” Capoor said. “Get the good UV filter in the lenses and polarization. The anti-reflective coating or mirror coating on the outside surface is also very helpful.”
Look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet radiation can affect different layers of the eye and continued exposure without protection may lead to permanent eye damage. Regular use of sunglasses can slow down cataract formation and lessen the risks of macular degeneration.
Children and people with light-colored eyes should be particularly mindful about wearing sunglasses.
“Times have changed and there’s more penetration of ultraviolet light from the atmosphere than there was 30 years ago,” Capoor said. “It is advisable for children, especially blue-eyed or light-eyed children, to be wearing protective sunglasses now.”
Composite lenses made from impact-resistant polycarbonate material are lighter than glass and ideal for anglers. Polycarbonate also is the preferred lens material for shooting glasses. Protective eye wear is required at all shooting ranges on Wildlife Management Areas in Kentucky.
On the water, polarized lenses are highly recommended for anglers because they sharpen vision by reducing glare from the sun’s reflection. Darker lenses don’t necessarily block more UV rays although they may be preferred by people who are extremely sensitive to light. The environmental conditions can dictate the right lens color.
Gray, brown and green tints are best at providing maximum contrast while maintaining clarity and offering the most sun protection, Capoor said.
Gray is a good all-purpose lens tint that cuts down on extremely bright conditions and won’t distort colors. Green also limits color distortion, reduces glare and improves contrast in bright sun. Brown and amber are versatile tints that cut glare and filter out blue light, increasing contrast and sharpness, especially on cloudy days.
Yellow reduces glare and enhances depth perception and contrast in low light or hazy conditions. It is considered a better option for shooters than anglers.
We’re taught to apply sunscreen liberally and often to protect our skin from overexposure to the sun. Sunglasses and shooting glasses are just as important.