Today is June 27, 2021

Published 7:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2021

How to choose the right pair of sunglasses

Sunscreen is essential to protect skin against potential sun damage, but what about keeping the eyes safe from the sun? Are the eyes vulnerable to significant sun-related damage as well?

According to the Calvert Ophthalmology Center, ultraviolet rays from the sun can contribute to various eye problems. These can range from temporary vision loss to macular degeneration. When spending time in the sun, it’s vital that individuals take steps to protect their eyes. One of the ways to do just that is to wear sunglasses.

All sunglasses are not created equal. Quality sunglasses protect the eyes from UV rays, reduce eyestrain in bright conditions and protect the eyes from flying debris. Here’s how to find the right pair of sunglasses for you.

· Check the UV rating. Sunglasses should block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. UV rays can contribute to cataracts and even destroy the retina, which is the lining at the back of the eyes. In addition, UV light can cause changes in the cells of the eyes that may produce discomfort or even lead to cancer. Make sure the label indicates that the sunglasses protect against UVA and UVB rays.

· Wear large sunglasses. The more coverage from sunglasses the better. The American Optometric Association advises that oversized or wraparound sunglasses are best, as they can cut down on the UV rays entering the eye from the side.

· Don’t be fooled by dark lenses. Dark lenses do not necessarily block more UV rays than light-colored lenses. It is important to look at the label to see the UV rating.

· Select functional sunglasses. The sporting goods experts at REI state that certain sunglasses are specifically designed for certain activities. Sport sunglasses, for example are designed for running, biking and hiking. They’re lightweight and fit tightly so they stay on while exercising. Their frame and lens materials also may be more impact-resistant than casual sunglasses. Glacier glasses are sport sunglasses that protect the eyes from intense light at high altitudes and against reflections from snow.

· Know the functions of polarized lenses. Polarization helps reduce glare coming off of reflective surfaces, such as water. Note that polarization will not offer more protection from the sun, but it makes engaging in certain activities more comfortable.

· Recognize that the color of lenses also helps. In addition to polarization, the color of lenses can affect how much visible light reaches the eyes and affects clarity. Brown, gray and green are ideal for everyday use and most outdoor activities. Light colors like rose, yellow and amber are good in low to moderate light conditions. They can improve the visibility of objects and make surroundings seem brighter.

Shop smart when selecting sunglasses to keep eyes healthy and comfortable.

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Tips to making delicious ice cream at home

Ice cream is a favorite dessert across the globe. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year, says the International Dairy Foods Association.

Even though a trip to the local ice cream parlor can yield many different opportunities to indulge, making ice cream at home is easier than one may believe. Also, creating homemade ice cream can be a fun way to experiment with unique flavors and textures. It is easy to customize concoctions based on what everyone likes best. Making ice cream also is a fun way to bring the family together with the reward of a tasty prize for all of the effort. Here are some tips for making ice cream at home.

· Buy quality ingredients. Choose fresh, high-quality ingredients. Real vanilla beans or extract can produce better flavor than imitations. Select in-season berries and other fruits and, if possible, use organic milk. All of these ingredients will blend together for fresh flavor.

· Freeze equipment early. Cold equipment is necessary to produce ice cream. Store the bowls of an ice cream maker in the freezer to keep them frozen and ready for when the mood strikes to make a batch of ice cream.

· Avoid ice crystallization. According to Food 52, a foodie equipment and recipe resource, ice crystals in the ice cream can ruin texture by making ice cream crunchy. Freezing ice cream quickly at very cold temperatures is essential. That means freezing the bowl and keeping the ingredient mix cold. Spinning the ice cream and transfering it quickly to the freezer helps keep ice crystals small.

· Keep mix-ins small. Mix-ins, like cookie pieces or cake crumbs, can add a different dimension to ice cream. Chill the ingredients and make sure they are small (roughly the size of chocolate chips). Add them after the ice cream is entirely frozen.

· Watch alcohol usage. Alcohol can create a tipsy ice cream experience, but adding too much can interfere with ice cream’s ability to freeze. Therefore, use alcohol sparingly.

· Store ice cream smartly. According to David Lebovitz, author of “The Perfect Scoop,” store ice cream in a shallow container to keep it softer. Also, cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming.

Homemade ice cream will last for roughly a week in the freezer. Making ice cream can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor.