July 23, 2018
It seems today that most sunglasses are worn as a fashion statement, rather than to protect the eyes. While sunglasses are a great way to show off your personal style, they also offer many health benefits for your eyes if you have the right lenses. When buying sunglasses, make sure the lenses offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays. If they don’t, you are probably doing more harm than good to your eyes. Many fashion sunglasses come with UVA/UVB protection, with the exception of the cheap little glasses you might find in a drugstore.
Protective sunglasses offer many benefits, some you may not even be aware of. You probably wear sunscreen, so why not offer the same protection for your eyes? A good pair of sunglasses protects you by absorbing the UV light that damages the eye, and should be worn year-round, not just during the summer.
Below is a list of problems associated with UV damage that can be prevented with constant use of sunglasses:
Skin Cancer. Did you know that up to 10% of all skin cancer is located on the eyelid? This can lead to severe damage of the eye, as well as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Glaucoma. Although Glaucoma is not a direct cause of sun exposure, it is a common eye condition that often leads to cataracts and blindness with prolonged exposure to UV rays.
Cataracts. A cataract is cloudiness in the lens of the eye caused by UV exposure, which can lead to blindness. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 51% of blindness worldwide is caused by cataracts.
Macular Degeneration. A condition where the macula, which is the part of the retina that allows us to see clearly, deteriorates, which can lead to impaired vision and blindness.
Pterygium. Also called “surfer’s eye”, is an abnormal growth of tissue that causes inflammation or vision disturbance. Although typically not serious, it can be painful and annoying, and can be prevented by wearing sunglasses whenever you are outdoors.
Photo keratitis. Also known as ultraviolet keratitis, this is a painful eye condition caused by exposure to UV rays. Sometimes called a flash burn or sunburn of the eye, it is a temporary condition that can be very painful and cause blurred eyesight and sensitivity.
As you can see, wearing protective sunglasses is essential for eye health. And you are never to young to wear them! People often forget about their children, but they need protection too. So next time you are shopping for sunglasses, remember to pick up a pair for each of your children and get them started with a lifelong habit of eye safety.