Most of us think of sunglasses merely as a style accessory–but if the sun’s rays are bad for our skin, wouldn’t it make sense that they would be just as bad for our eyes? Sunglasses are a fashion accessory, that’s true, but they can also bring a host of benefits for your eyes, first among which is protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. They also help cut down on glare and prevent other problems with your eyes to help contribute to better vision. It pays to buy yourself a pair of high quality sunglasses and to wear them regularly.
- Protect your eyes from the elements.
Do you enjoy the outdoors? Lots of people enjoy outdoor activities such as dirt biking, skiing, roller skating and skateboarding as well as more sedentary activities such as simply sunbathing on a beach. And luckily, more than ever, people are starting to be more aware about the importance of wearing sunglasses while enjoying such pursuits.
For a truly enjoyable outdoor adventure, take your doctor’s advice about wearing sunglasses seriously: On the beach, you can be exposed to wind, dust and sand that can irritate your eyes or scratch your cornea. Biking, skating,and skateboarding can put you and your eyes in harm’s way, not just because of the sun’s glare, but also because of UV exposure.
Activities out in the cold can be just as harmful to your eyes. Snow will reflect UV rays from the sun at your eyes. Spending a lot of time in the snow without sunglasses can cause “snow blindness.” This is a temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to the UV rays reflected off ice and snow.
- Sunglasses help prevent certain eye diseases related to the sun.
Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. An estimated 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure. Macular degeneration results from damage to the retina that destroys central vision. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Pterygium involves tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism.
- See better
Wearing sunglasses simply helps you see better in bright light by cutting down on glare. This can be especially useful for many people who are prone to migraines triggered by bright sunlight.
The bottom line is that sunglasses can make your eyes safer and keep you more comfortable outdoors. Sunglasses that have UV protection can help keep your eyes healthier, longer. Choose those that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation to keep your eyes healthy.