Let’s talk about sunglasses. They accessorize your v-necks. Make your wardrobe trendy. Keep you looking fresh. Rent space in your glove compartment and cupholders. But most importantly, they actually protect your vision. As it turns out, sunglasses are integral little tools in our outfits and our eyesight.
We all know that a proper sunscreen regimen helps to protect us from the harmful rays of the sun. But did you know that, if left unprotected over time, the sun can have harmful effects on our eyes and vision as well?
Besides bringing relief by cutting out the harsh glares and improving viewing clarity while laying on the beach, driving, fishing, etc., regularly donning a quality pair of sunglasses that blocks UVA/UVB rays from the sun can help to:
- Protect your eyes from the elements
- Prevent certain eye diseases
- Prevent and relieve headaches and migraines
Protect your eyes from the elements
Sunglasses provide your eyes with an extra layer of protection from the elements. Whether you’re boating on the lake, skiing down a hill, biking along a dry and dusty road, or simply lounging by a pool, wearing your sunnies regularly can help you enjoy your outdoor activities without damaging your eyes.
Elements like wind, sand, and dust are all dry and abrasive, and can irritate or even scratch your cornea, sometimes causing permanent damage. Likewise, water, sand, and especially snow reflect UV rays from the sun into your eyes. Spending an extended amount of time out in the snow can cause a condition called “snow blindness,” which is a temporary loss of vision experienced due to overexposure to the UV rays reflected off ice and snow.
Sunglasses act as a physical barrier that helps block your eyes from exposure to harsh elements and relieves the amount of glare from the sun your eyes have to endure.
Prevent certain eye diseases
It is common knowledge that time and genetics have a large impact on our eyesight as we age. But did you know that exposure to harmful rays from the sun over time can be the culprit of contributing to certain eye diseases affecting our vision as well? By regularly wearing a quality pair of UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses, you might help prevent diseases in the eye such as:
- Cataracts: Cataracts involves a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision, and is sometimes caused by age and normal wear and tear over time. However, the World Health Organization estimates that around 20% of cataracts are caused by overexposure to UV radiation from sunlight.
- Macular degeneration: Macular degeneration is a deterioration of the macula, which is the central portion of the retina responsible for processing sharp, clear vision (allowing us to read, write, drive a car, and recognize faces). When the macula deteriorates, it destroys central vision, and affects over 10 million Americans as the leading cause of vision loss. As with cataracts, risk increases with age. But unprotected and prolonged exposure to UV rays increases risk as well.
- Pterygium: UV rays, wind, dust, and other elements cause this growth on the conjunctiva (clear coating) on the white part of the eye. These growths can vary in size and irritability. Sunglasses provide an easy deterrent.
- Photokeratitis: Sunburn of the eye. That’s right, large amounts of eye contact with UV rays in a short time can cause your eyes to get sunburned, too! Simply wearing sunglasses in long periods of sunlight can minimize this risk.
Prevent and relieve headaches and migraines
Over 39 million Americans are affected by migraines, while an extraordinary amount more suffer from regular headaches. The causes of a migraine or headache can be attributed to many common factors such as stress, dehydration, poor sleep, environment, certain foods, muscle tension, etc., depending on the person. But another common trigger for migraines and headaches is bright sunlight. If you suffer from this condition, talk with your doctor to see if adding a proper pair of sunglasses to your daily routine might help relieve some of your symptoms!
Cameron Optical is the #1 optometrist in Montgomery County and is unmatched in quality and timeliness, from our lenses to our eyeglasses, down to our exceptional service. Come stop by and see our fabulous selection of quality UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses in all of your favorite brands and styles, and start protecting your vision today!