People have their own reasons for wearing sunglasses. Many believe that eye protection is an overall preventative measure. Some just enjoy the way they look. Most people wear them for the simple fact that it can cut down on the glare from the sun.
Sunglasses are a bit like sunscreen. They should be worn more often when you are outdoors. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Prevention of Sun-Related Health Problems
Eyes are the window to the soul and windows are fragile. Perhaps not as fragile as our eyes though. Spending too much time in the sun without protecting those peepers can lead to many health problems.
“High Quality” does not equal “Super Expensive” either. It simply means choosing a pair with UVA and UVB protection. Polarized lenses reduce glare and wrap-around frames provide protection from all sides. If you are spending time around water, polarized is a must to protect from the reflection of the sun on water. Now, what are these health problems?
- Skin Cancer- You don’t think about the skin around your eyes much. Sunscreens and other products specifically state to keep away from the eyes though. What is going to protect that super sensitive skin without shades?
- Cataracts and Glaucoma- Here are two things you have probably heard a lot. Cataracts are areas on the eye’s surface that become cloudy as a result of too much sun exposure. Exposure to UV can also make Glaucoma worse and can result in blindness.
- Macular Degeneration- This condition occurs when the macula, part of the retina, deteriorates. It begins by impairing vision and eventually causes blindness. Wearing sunglasses may not stop or even slow this process, but they can prevent the process speeding up.
- Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye)- This is a growth on the actual eyeball. While it is typically not serious, it can be quite painful. Treatments such as steroids, eye drops, or even surgery must be used to treat this. You could always skip those and prevent the problem from arising.
2. Protection From Nature
Being out in the sun means that you are outside. Whether it is your backyard or the beach, there are environmental hazards for your eyes.
- Snow- This super reflective force of nature can actually cause a temporary form of blindness known as “snow blindness”. In more serious cases this can be permanent. It occurs when the cornea is burned by too much UV reflection.
- Sand- Sand is super tiny but can cause serious problems. Sand in your eyes can cause potentially permanent damage via a scratch on the surface of your eye. The more area sunglasses cover, the more they keep out. The same goes for wind and dust.
3. They Give Your Eyes a Rest
If you have had LASIK or other surgeries to correct your vision, invest in sunglasses. You will be given exact specifications for post surgery sunglasses, but keep wearing them. Get a more stylish pair perhaps, but protecting your eyes gives them a chance to heal.
4. If You Aren’t Squinting, You May Enjoy Outside Time More
Polarized lenses make color and contrast better. There is less glare and things look sharper. If you are constantly fighting glare when you are outdoors, you are missing out on some good stuff.
5. Your Head Will Thank You
Bright lights are a common trigger for those with migraines. Sunglasses may decrease the number that you get, or at least lower the intensity when they do occur. The sun can actually make those who suffer from migraines want to stay indoors. A good pair of sunglasses may make it more comfortable.
6. Road Safety
If you’ve ever driven a car with shiny accents, you may have wondered why they would design a car that way. What you may or may not realize is that even the road is reflecting light. This can cause your eyes to get tired much faster than they would perhaps at night. Sunglasses could keep you more alert, and longer too.
Sunglasses come in all shapes, colors, and styles and there is something for everybody. You can have more than one pair to mix it up. Coordinate with your clothes or your activity. Shades are the best fashion accessory, especially when you factor in the pros above.
If you really want to amp up the protection you get from sunglasses, you can get a hat that provides protection from above. With all of the options you have to choose from, you can mix and match those as well.
Dr. Joseph Cohen O.D.
Woodland Hills Optometrist
Get excellent service on a comprehensive eye care
19737 Ventura Blvd., Suite 201, Woodland Hills, CA 91364