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Most people wear sunglasses because they are stylish and a great way to set a fashion statement. The glare from the sun is quite annoying as well, so most people wear their glasses to help with the glare.
Why are sunglasses important?
While those are great reasons to wear sunglasses, that isn’t the important reason why you should be wearing sunglasses Sunglasses are extremely important when you start considering your eye health.
Everyone knows exactly what happens when you spend a whole day outside and forget the sunblock. Well, did you know your eyes could get sunburnt as well? It is extremely important to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Overexposure to UV rays over the course of your life could lead to dangerous eye conditions, many of which are not treatable.
What is UV?
UV or Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is radiated off of the sun. These UV rays coming off the sun and to us in various wavelengths. UV wavelengths are between 10 to 400 nm and are not visible to the naked eye.
There are 3 main types of UV rays. The first type is UV-A rays, which there are about 500 times more UV-A rays than there are UV-B rays in sunlight. UV-A rays can damage your central vision, as well as parts of your retina.
The next type of UV rays is UV-B rays. Even though there are less UV-B rays than there are of UV-A it is still just as important to protect your eyes from them. As a matter of fact, UV-B rays are the rays that cause your sunburn on your skin.
Lastly, we have UV-C rays, These are actually the UV rays that carry the most energy. Fortunately for us though UV-C rays don’t make it through our atmosphere.
Would Any Pair of Sunglasses Work?
You should be looking for sunglasses that block out 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays to give your eyes the best protection that you could possibly get.
That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy an expensive pair of sunglasses to get adequate protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Most of the time the more expensive sunglasses are due to the brand, frame quality, and optics quality, but inexpensive sunglasses still give full 100% UV protection.
Anyone who needs prescription glasses and wears prescription sunglasses you should already have 100% UV protection on your prescription sunglasses. There should be no reason for you to have dark prescription glasses with no UV protection, this could actually be harmful to your eyes.
Also, remember the darkness of the lenses on your sunglasses is not an indication of UV protection. UV coating is clear and has nothing to do with the color of your sunglasses.
What are the Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses
Most of us know that if you are outside all day without sunblock on your skin, you are going to be in for a world of pain later on that evening from your sunburn. But many people don’t think about what being in the sun all day could be doing to your eyes. Overexposure to UV could cause short-term along with long-term effects on your overall eye health. So let’s take a look at reasons why it is important to protect your eyes in the sun.
- UV Protection – This is the most obvious reason for wearing sunglasses. Being exposed to UV rays over time could cause cataracts, growths on your eyes, and photokeratitis, which is essentially a sunburn of your eyes. Which is common for people that spend time around snow, or a body of water where the sun could reflect off and cause the sunburn.
- Blue Light Protection – I am sure you have heard about all the blue light that we get from electronic devices, but the sun is actually the producer of the most blue light. But of course we don’t stare into the sun, and we do stare into our devices.
- Glare Protection – Wearing sunglasses offer protection from the sun’s bright glare. Polarized sunglasses offer even better glare protection than standard tinted sunglasses.
- Reduce Risk of Cancer – You might not hear about it all too often but you can get skin cancer on your eyelids and the skin around your eyes. Wearing sunglasses while you are doing anything outdoors would reduce the risk of developing skin cancer around your eyes.
- Children Need Them Too – Children should definitely be wearing sunglasses to protect those developing eyes. Children’s eyes are still developing and might not do as good a job at blocking things such as blue light, therefore it is even more important that children wear sunglasses to protect their eyes.
- Drive Safer – Wearing sunglasses while you are driving will reduce the glare from the sun and improve your vision so you can drive safer.
- Helps with Migraines – The bright light from the sun could trigger migraines. Constant squinting from the bright sunlight could cause unnecessary eye strain and fatigue. Constant squinting could lead to premature wrinkles and crow’s feet around your eyes.
When Should You Wear Sunglasses?
Although it is important that we protect our eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun we don’t necessarily have to wear sunglasses all the time outside, it is often recommended by most experts to make sure you wear your sunglasses if you are outside between the times of 10 am to 4 pm. During those times are when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest, and protection from the UV rays is needed. These times could vary depending on where you live on the planet. If you are further away from the equator then there will be less time during the day that the UV rays are strong, the closer to live to the equator the more time there is during the day that the UV rays are strongest.
It is extra important for people who are participating in any water sports or are just spending some time around any large bodies of water to wear sunglasses. Also true for people that are around snow, they should also wear sunglasses or goggles to protect their eyes. Sunlight reflects off of snow and water going directly into your eyes and could cause a lot more damage than sunlight alone.
Sunglasses are stylish, and comfortable for your eyes when you are outside so there really should be no reason you shouldn’t be wearing them. If you want some extra protection you could also wear a hat with a wide brim to help give your eyes extra protection from the sun.
Considering keeping multiple pairs of sunglasses around, it would be easier to remember to wear them if there is one in your car, and also one by the keys, or in your bag.
If your children do not already wear prescription glasses then have them wear sunglasses when they are outside so they get used to the habit of having sunglasses while they are outside.
What are your thoughts on sunglasses and eye health? Let me know below, and as always thank you all for reading. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you can always leave them below and I will get back to you.
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