National Sunglasses Day is celebrated every June 27th, but it is a good idea to be sunglasses aware all year long. There are many advantages to wearing sunglasses, especially if you are looking to save your vision (and in some cases the skin around your eyes). This blog will take a look at the benefits of wearing sunglasses, how to choose an effective pair of sunglasses, and a more in depth look at UV protection and why it is important. Information in this blog came from Health Tip: Why Wear Sunglasses?, What are sunglasses really doing for your eyes?, Top 10 Reasons Why Sunglasses Are More Than Just a Fashion Accessory, and National Sunglasses Day The Vision Council.
Why Wear Sunglasses?
Sunglasses do more than make you look like a movie star. They can protect your eyes from many problems, including those caused by the sun’s harmful rays.
There are a myriad of reasons that you should always don sunglasses during the daylight hours. Some of these reasons are:
- They protect your eyes against the sun’s UV rays, which could otherwise lead to cataracts.
- They protect against “blue light” from the solar spectrum, which could increase your risk of macular degeneration.
- They lead to improved and more comfortable vision from not having to squint, which in turn can help guard against wrinkles.
- They can make it easier to adapt to darkness. Exposure to bright light can make it more difficult to adjust to driving at night.
- They help prevent photokeratitis, which is a sunburn of the eye. It can be painful, causing blurred vision, light sensitivity, and the sensation of having sand in your eye.
- Sunglasses prevent skin cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes.
- Sunglasses protect your eyes from debris. If you engage in outdoor activities, wearing sunglasses can help deflect dirt and other particles from finding their way into your eye.
- They can enhance safety, even in the winter. Extremely bright reflections off snow and ice can cause glare, which seriously impairs vision, making activities such as driving or skiing dangerous.
What to Look for when Choosing Sunglasses
Sunglasses should do more than just look fashionable, but there is no reason why they cannot be both beneficial and look good at the same time. You should keep in mind the following factors when picking out a new pair of shades:
100 percent UV protection. This means your pair will filter out all the harmful UV rays that can damage your eyes.
A wraparound style. They can reduce the amount of UV exposure to your eyes.
Polarization. This optional feature reduces glare, which can be more comfortable for your eyes.
Tinting. The color of your sunglasses is purely cosmetic, so choose a pair that best suits your taste. Just be sure they are labeled as having 100 percent UV protection.
Some contact lenses also offer UV protection, but should be worn in combination with sunglasses to maximize protection. The biggest difference between inexpensive and high-end sunglasses are generally the more expensive versions have better frames. Less expensive glasses may not be cosmetically appealing, however, as long as there is 100 percent UV protection, that’s the most important thing.
ILA offers a vast array of sunglasses including the Cocoons Polarized Sunglasses, Amber Lens, Slimline Medium Tortoise Frame, the Cocoons Polarized Sunglasses, Gray Lens, Pilot Large Black Frame, and the Cocoons Polarized Sunglasses, Amber Lens, Aviator XL Tortoise Frame.
Why is UV-protective Eyewear Important?
Everyday millions of Americans make the conscious decision to not wear sunglasses or other ultraviolet (UV) protective eyewear. While seemingly harmless, this habit carries serious vision risks, many of which are not known or understood by those who fail to wear protective frames.
UV radiation is often recognized as the culprit for sunburns and skin cancer, but most people do not realize the damaging impact the wavelengths inflict on their vision. The problem originates with the sun’s unfiltered UV rays. Just as these rays can burn skin cells, they can also harm unprotected eyes. A full day outside without protection can cause immediate, temporary issues, such as swollen or red eyes, and hypersensitivity to light. Years of cumulative exposure can cause cancer of the eye or eyelid and accelerate conditions like cataracts and age-regulated macular degeneration.
Sunglasses are a major health necessity – regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy, warm or cold – and spread the word that sunglasses and other UV-protective eyewear are key to protecting long-term eye health.