What are the best type of sunglasses for someone with impaired vision?

1 answer | Last updated: Dec 02, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I've read that it's important for my parent, who has macular degeneration, to protect her eyes from sunlight. She wears a brimmed hat when she gardens, but her doctor says to wear sunglasses, too, whenever she goes out. What do I need to know to help her choose the best sunglasses?


Expert Answers

Lylas Mogk, M.D. is an ophthalmologist and director of the Henry Ford Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center in Grosse Pointe and Livonia, Michigan, and the author of Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight.

While protection from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays helps prevent cataracts, the best glasses for someone with macular degeneration are those that block not only UV light but also blue wavelengths, as it's the blue light, not UV, that's the culprit in macular degeneration.

Yellow blocks blue, so in a commercial sunglass lens, look for a tint in the yellow-orange-amber-brown family. You can find specially made UV and blue-blockers in other tints, too. To locate a source, search online using the keywords low vision sunglasses.