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At CCMF, sunglasses are more than a fashion statement

Health
Portrait of a trendy man with silver beard, sunglasses and hat, isolated on pink studio background

It’s that (awesome) time of year again when thousands of music fans gear up to enjoy hours of great tunes and entertainment at the Carolina Country Music Fest.
As the official health care system of event, Tidelands Health wants festivalgoers to have an experience that’s as safe as it is fun. That’s why the health system is encouraging attendees to bring a good pair of shades.
Although your sunglasses may be the final fashionable touch you put on before leaving the house, they can also be your eyes’ best friend. Squinting all day can lead to eye strain or headaches that dull the fun, and extended exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays over time can lead to a range of eye problems such as cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis.
“Sunglasses are also important because they help protect against retinal melanoma,” says Shelly Rottner, a nurse practitioner at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Prince Creek in Murrells Inlet.
She knows three people who have or have had the cancer, and a family friend lost her life to the disease.

Oh, the choices

When deciding on sunglasses, it’s important to pick a pair that will properly protect your eyes, she says. Just because sunglasses are dark doesn’t mean they provide adequate protection.
To start, look for shades that offer 100 percent protection against UV rays. A sticker on the lens when you buy the sunglasses should tell you what percentage protection the glasses offer (if at all).

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If you are unsure if your sunglasses meet that standard, you may be able to find out by calling the retailer where you purchased them or by looking up the information on the manufacturer’s website. If you can’t figure it out and decided to buy a new set, don’t worry; you can find UV-protective shades at almost any price point.
She also encourages people to seek out sunglasses that offer a wrap-around style, which helps protect the sun’s rays from entering the eyes from the sides.

Other ideas

Rottner, who plans to attend Carolina Country Music Fest (sporting her own pair of protective shades), says sunglasses aren’t the only way to protect yourself from the sun when you’re outdoors. She also suggest wearing a visor-type cap or broad-rimmed hat and staying in the shade.
And she reminds parents that children’s eyes should be protected, too. UV damage is cumulative, so proper protection starting at an early age is key to preventing eye problems down the road.
“Your eyesight is one of the most valuable things you have; it’s important to do all you can to protect it,” says Rottner.
Scheduled from June 6-9, the Carolina Country Music Fest is expected to attract at least 30,000 people to watch more than 30 country artists including Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Randy Houser, Morgan Evans, Travis Denning, Gyth Rigdon, Dee Jay Silver and Alabama.
For more information, click here.Benefit from great tips on preparing for the festival by going here. 

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