Ray of light

Local experts stress the importance of protecting eyes from the sun.



Top to bottom: Catuma, $660; Etnia Barcelona, $287; Prada, $387; all from Eye Candy, 7891 E. 108th Place, Suite 3.

Most of us know excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can have damaging, long-term effects on our skin, but what about our eyes? The National Eye Institute has deemed May “Healthy Vision Month.” And what better time to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect those pools that harbor your view of the world outside? 

When it comes to shielding our eyes from the sun and its ultraviolet rays, Monte Harrel, O.D., of Harrel Eyecare says it’s just as important as wearing sunscreen. “Just like we protect our skin, our eyes need to be protected,” he says. 

 

Age and risk factors

The longer our eyes are exposed to UV radiation, the greater our risk of developing cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelids, macular degeneration — a disorder that damages the retina and destroys central vision — photokeratitis (a sunburn to the eye’s surface) and pterygium, a growth that occurs on the white part of the eye, says Kali Cole, M.D., of Blink Optical.

Children’s eyes in particular might have an increased risk of UV damage due to incomplete eye development and the amount of time children spend outdoors. The average child receives about three times the annual UV exposure as the average adult and reaches up to 80 percent of lifetime UV exposure before age 20, according to the American Optometric Association. In seniors, factors such as dry eye and cataracts become more likely with excessive sun exposure, Harrel says.

In addition, adults who spend a great deal of time outdoors, use a sunlamp or tanning parlor, have had cataract surgery in one or both eyes or take over-the-counter drugs that increase sensitivity to light also are at a greater risk of UV harm, according to the AOA.

 

Prevention

With the potential dangers at hand, how can we be sure we are preventing disease and protecting our eyes from the sun? It’s an obvious answer: protective eyewear. “There are several ways to protect our eyes from UV damage,” Harrel says. “Prescription and nonprescription eyewear, clip-ons, fit overs — there are brands of contacts that include more UV protection than others for patients who wear contact lenses.” 

Liz Batchelor, O.D., of Triad Eye Institute suggests adding another layer of protection by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen around the eyes. “It is important to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes from UV rays anytime you are outside, whether it’s sunny or cloudy,” she says.  

 

Quality and protection

Although many of us own a pair of sunglasses to match our every mood, the accessory should be more than stylish. So what should you look for when shopping for shades? 

Cole says the most important thing to prioritize is the level of UV protection offered by the lens. The safest bet is to purchase sunglasses that provide 100-percent UVA and UVB protection. Typically, high-end brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban offer such protection, but most inexpensive brands do, too. She warns, “Don’t be fooled by price.” 

That said, it’s important not to confuse lens quality with UV protection. When it comes down to it, Harrel says sunglasses’ quality typically is demonstrated in lens clarity. Generally, a higher price tag equals polarized and anti-glare lenses that offer a better, clearer image, which allows for a comfortable viewing experience when driving and playing sports. At the same time, just because a lens is polarized does not mean it offers 100-percent UV protection, Cole says. 

It’s important to consider a proper fit, too, Batchelor adds. “Pick a frame that fits close to your eyes and contours the shape of your face to protect your eyes from all sides,” she says.  

 

Advanced innovations

New technologies are shifting focus to filter blue light, which is emitted by the sun and artificial light sources such as LEDs, computers and smart phones, Cole says. Some blue light is good for the eyes, but too much blue-violet light has been shown to cause macular degeneration.

Crizal Prevencia no-glare lenses are designed to selectively block harmful types of blue light. A newly developed Light Scan process allows beneficial blue light to pass through the lens and filters out the dangerous blue-violet light.

 

Prevention vs. treatment

At the end of the day, it is easier to prevent harm from UV rays than it is to treat potential consequences. In addition, medical professionals remain uncertain about the amount of solar radiation exposure required to cause eye damage. Cole stresses, “Whenever you spend time outdoors, whatever the age, wear quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and a hat or cap with a wide brim.”

 

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Landshark Pool Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sketch comedy, music, and some yodeling by Jack Allen and friends.

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center - Charles E. Norman Theatre
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918.596.7122
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Cost: $10

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (319) 804-9727
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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-4208
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Where:
The Boxyard
502 East Third Street
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (918) 599-9200
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Rescheduled from April, Tokyo in Tulsa presents this traditional celebration of the blooming of Japanese Cherry Blossoms, featuring movies on the lawn, karaoke, cosplay, and more.

Where:
Guthrie Green
207 N Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Where:
American Legion Post 308
11328 E Admiral Pl
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - The Joint
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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This is a four day Baseball tournament   https://mabeecenter.com/oru-baseball-2017/

Cost: TBD

Where:
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000

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Four day baseball tournament    For more information visit the link below https://mabeecenter.com/event/summit-league-tournament_2017/

Cost: $9 - $74

Where:
J.L. Johnson Stadium
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Mabee Center
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Celebrate the US of A with a variety of events and activities, including a car and motorcycle show, pin-up contest, live music, pet contest, and an old-fashioned cruise down Route 66 from one side...

Where:
Route 66 Village
3770 Southwest Blvd
Tulsa, OK
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The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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‘A Woman’s Eye’ MAINLINE is excited to present a new exhibit featuring 3 local photograhers Tahlia Ball, Christina Parson & Madison Rayon. From ‘quiet...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
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A Loony Bin favorite!!! Mark's mastery of the English language as he narrates hilarious tales of sex, parenting, marriage, drinking, horse racing and history coupled with rapid fire one-liners...

Cost: $12 with reservations, $14 without reservations

Where:
68th and Memorial
6808 S Memorial Ste 234
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Telephone: 918-392-5653
Contact Name: The Loony Bin Comedy Club
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Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Cost: $30

Where:
Brady Theater
105 West Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-4208
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Cost: $5

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-1345
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Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (918) 582-7669
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-4292
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Where:
The Run
3141 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa
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Telephone: (918) 746-8271
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Cost: $7-$10

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (319) 804-9727
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Where:
Yeti
417 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (918) 936-4994
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Where:
Zin Urban Lounge
111 N. Main St.
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 500-3958
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Set in 1898, this play tells the story of the female pioneers who overcame tremendous odds and settled together in the all-black town, Nicodemus, Kansas.

Cost: $15-$17

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center - Liddy Doenges Theatre
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918.596.7122
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Landshark Pool Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
Fassler Hall
304 S. Elgin Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: (918) 576-7898
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Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 921-3535
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Cost: $15-$50

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (319) 804-9727
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - The Joint
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - The Joint
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Burlesque performers spin a wheel to choose a random song, then improvise a performance. The best wins The Gilded Wheel.

Cost: $18-$25

Where:
IDL Ballroom
230 E 1st St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: (918) 551-7447
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Where:
Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa
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Telephone: (918) 599-9200
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Where:
Billy and Renee's
6373 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: 918-836-0655
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