Why do we wear sunglasses? According to a 2012 survey, nearly 90% of people believe that protecting their eyes is key to overall health. But most people who choose to wear sunglasses do so only to cut down on the sun’s glare.
There are many reasons for wearing sunglasses more often, especially when you’re enjoying the outdoors during the summer. Keep reading and we’ll breakdown why you should remember those shades.
Start at a Young Age
“Sunglasses are especially important for children,” says Dr. Stacey Filippo Tyran, optometrist at Wink Optical in Jenkintown. “UV eye damage is cumulative over a lifetime,” Dr. Filippo Tyran added, “so it’s important to make wearing sunglasses a habit early in life. What’s more, children’s eyes are especially vulnerable because they’re still developing.”
Prevent Sun-Related Health Problems
Our eyes are sensitive. Prolonged exposure to sun can lead to a variety of ailments. Some are simply painful or irritating, others can be deadly serious. Remembering to wear a pair of high quality sunglasses can help to keep you safe from the sun’s damaging rays.
Let’s start by defining what we mean by high-quality sunglasses. Start by looking for sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. This provides full protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Polarized sunglasses can reduce glare, which is nice if you’re spending a lot of time on the water. Also look for sunglasses that fully cover your eyes.
Wrap-around lenses are even better because they block out light and glare from the side, as well as the front. Besides, big sunnies are all the rage.
Now let’s look at diseases and health complications that sunglasses can help protect against.
The skin around your eyes, including your eyelids is very sensitive to sunlight. And nearly 10% of skin cancers are found near the eyes. Wearing UV-protective wraparound sunglasses with large lenses can not only protect your eyes, but they’ll protect your skin, too.
Cataracts & Glaucoma
Cataracts are cloudy areas on the eye’s lens. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, prolonged and long term exposure to the sun’s UV rays contribute to cataracts. UV exposure may also worsen the symptoms of Glaucoma, another serious eye condition that can result in blindness. Sunglasses with complete UV protection can help reduce your risk of cataracts or complications from glaucoma.
Macular Degeneration is a condition where part of the retina, called the macula, deteriorates, causing impaired vision and in many cases, eventual blindness. Certain types of UV radiation can speed up this process, so wearing sunglasses may help protect you.
Also known as surfer’s eye, pterygium is a growth on the eyeball itself. It’s usually not serious, but it can be painful and annoying. Eye drops, steroids and surgery (in advanced cases) are the most common treatments. But the best treatment, of course, is prevention. Doctors recommend wraparound sunglasses with UV protection, especially on cloudy days when the sun isn’t visible but its UV rays can still damage the eyes.
Protection From the Elements
The sun isn’t the only thing that can damage your eyes. Spending time outdoors, puts you at additional risk of damage from sand, dust, wind and even snow.
You might be surprised to know that spending time in the snow can be very damaging to your eyes. Snow reflects 80% of UV rays from the sun and can cause a condition known as snow blindness, where glare from the sun actually burns the cornea. If you’re skiing, climbing snowy mountains or spending time in the snow (at any time of year), wear sunglasses. Make sure they cover and protect the bottom of your eyes, because of the reflective nature of the snow.
Getting sand in your eyes can be very painful and dangerous. Tiny grains of sand can actually scratch your eye and can cause permanent damage. Sunglasses that fully cover your eyes are a great way to keep sand out.
Wind & Dust
Spending a lot of time in windy, dusty areas can irritate and damage your eyes. Again, the best way to protect yourself is by wearing sunglasses that keep your eyes safe from the elements.
Promote Healing & Recovery
If you’ve hadsurgery to correct your vision, you should be extra sure to wear sunglasses. Your doctor may recommend a pair for you to wear immediately after the procedure, but continuing to wear sunglasses can protect your eyes as they heal and as you adjust to your new vision. If you’ve had cataract surgery, eyelid repair, or another procedure to correct your vision, you’ll also benefit from wearing protective sunglasses. Ask your Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs optometrist for their opinion and recommendations.
See More & Enjoy Nature
As important as protecting your health is, there are more good reasons to wear sunglasses more often. If you’re spending time outdoors, you’ll really benefit from wearing your sunglasses. With polarized sunglasses they’re sharper, there’s less glare, and the colors and contrast are improved. If you enjoy fishing or spending time on the water, with polarized sunglasses you’ll be able to see through the glare on top of the water and notice fish and aquatic life that you never even knew were there!
Fewer Headaches & You’ll be More Comfortable
Bright sunlight can be a trigger for migraines and bad headaches. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce both the frequency and intensity of these painful occurrences. And even if you’re not a headache or migraine sufferer, wearing sunglasses when out in the sun can help reduce eyestrain and fatigue, meaning that you’ll just be more comfortable and enjoy your time outdoors even more.
Safe Driving & Recovery
Do sunglasses help when driving in the rain? This is a hotly debated issue, but the consensus seems to be that in light rain, during the day, the right sunglasses can improve your vision and help you to drive safer. And of course when driving into bright sunlight, sunglasses can definitely help you see better and drive more comfortably. Just make sure you don’t wear sunglasses when driving at night– that’s not recommended and it’s not safe.
Finally. The Cool Factor
Now the fun reason. Sunglasses today have been rated the number one fashion accessory! Aviators, mirrored lenses, retro round, double wire, geeky and big bigger biggest have been sported by celebrities and featured on runways. You can even have different sunglasses for different activities, or to coordinate with different outfits. Express yourself.
Round wire frames straight from the flower-power 70’s were featured at the Spring fashion shows and are a favorite of models.
One of our favorite things to recommend is matching sunglasses to a protective sun hat. Your extra protected from the sun’s rays and stay cool and comfortable, all while looking fashion-forward.
Whether it’s digital lenses, safety frames or progressives that you need, Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs experienced optometrists and dispensing opticians will craft a set of frames and lenses that fit you and your lifestyle. Plus, we manufacture your glasses in our very own in-house lab- betya’ didn’t know that!
No matter what look you’re going for, from classically cool to modern and fashionable, at Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs there’s a pair of sunglasses that will make you see and feel great… and look oh so cool.
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