More than just a fashion accessory, sunglasses are an important part of preserving our eye health. We know it is important to slather on sunscreen to protect our skin, but how many of us forget to protect our eyes?
Too much exposure to the sun’s powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays can have harmful effects on our precious eyes.
Especially now that we are in the full heat of summer, here are 10 reasons why sunglasses are a must-have before leaving the house.
1. Keeps your face smooth and wrinkle-free
The skin around your eyes is very delicate and thin. Wearing sunglasses and sunscreen everyday will protect your skin from sun damage and help prevent fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. Starting this habit sooner rather than later will help you stay young as you age. Who doesn’t want that?
2. Look and feel like a million bucks
With all the different styles and designers out there, your sunglasses can be that “WOW!” factor for any outfit. It is the perfect way to be stylish and smart. Add a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection.
3. Keeps you safe on the road
It becomes very difficult to drive safely if you can’t clearly see other cars or the road because of the bright sun. Wearing sunglasses as you drive helps reduce glare and distracting reflections, and provides better visibility all around.
4. Enjoy the activities you love.
Polarized sunglasses are popular among outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hobbies like boating, fishing, jogging, biking, golfing, and skiing. These lenses help reduce glare from flat surfaces, like light that reflects off water. Wearing these lenses can improve comfort and performance while doing the activities you love.
5. Prevent cataracts.
World Health Organization states that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world (1). Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is linked to the growth of cataracts. Wear sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays (2).
6. Prevent pterygiums
Pronounced tur-IJ-ee-um, this is a triangular-shaped, pinkish growth on the conjunctiva of your eye. Also referred to as “surfer’s eye”, it is suspected to be caused by dry eye and excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Although not cancerous, it can cause irritation and affect vision if the growth spreads (3).
7. Reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Blue light, which is emitted from the sun and digital devices, pierces all the way to the retina and can cause damage to the cells in the back of the eye. These changes can lead to macular degeneration, which causes loss of central vision. Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays and blue light are one of the many steps that can be taken to prevent AMD.
8. Save yourself from skin cancer
Eyelid cancer is fairly common and accounts for almost 5 to 10 percent of all nonmelanoma skin cancers (4). Prevention measures include wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen with an adequate SPF daily. Surgical procedures are often needed to remove the cancer and to prevent spreading into the other tissues and structures near the eye.
9. Provide protection from the elements.
Your time at the beach, on a hike, or just walking to and from can quickly become disrupted if something gets into your eye. This could be sand, dust, dirt, or anything else picked up by the wind that causes major eye irritation. Use your glasses as an additional shield and keep those eyes clean and protected.
10. Manage headaches and migraines.
Some people who are prone to headaches and migraines find that bright light triggers their symptoms. Light sensitivity can also lead to eye strain, fatigue, and make it difficult to adjust between bright and dimly-lit areas. Wraparound sunglasses or glasses with special tints help reduce some of the discomfort caused by bright lights.
You don’t need an expensive pair of sunglasses to get the protection you need, but you should make sure to buy ones that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light.
Our office has a wide variety of styles, designers, and price ranges so that you can find sunglasses you love for every member of the family! Remember, children should wear sunglasses too because of the additional time they spend outdoors.
Stop in our office at any time to browse through our selection!
- World Health Organization (WHO). Priority eye diseases. http://www.who.int/blindness/causes/priority/en/index1.html
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Recommended Types of Sunglasses. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/sunglasses-recommended-types
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). What Is a Pinguecula and a Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye)? https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/pinguecula-pterygium
- Skin Cancer Foundation. The Eyelids: Highly Susceptible to Skin Cancer. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/for-your-eyes/the-eyelids-highly-susceptible-to-skin-cancer
Written by Kendra Shiffler