Sunglasses are not only a fashion statement but can also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. They can offer all-year-round protection since they can be worn even during winter since the sun can still shine brightly and harm your eyes.
Finding a comfortable pair that suits your lifestyle needs and protects you from UV rays simultaneously is essential. Ensure the ones you choose have UV protection information printed on the hang tag.
Sunglasses are informally known as shades, sunnies, or sun cheaters, to mention a few, and are protective eyewear meant to protect the eyes from the elements. They are eyeglasses that contain colored or tinted lenses to protect the eyes from sunlight, wind, sand, or dust.
Eyes are very delicate and need to be protected from the elements and UV rays of the sun to prevent eye diseases like eye cancer. One requires quality sunglasses as a protective cover.
Sunglasses also function as a visual aid. Glasses with 100% UV protect the eye for long and short-term periods. It is good to take preventive measures to reduce eye problems later.
Features of Good Sunglasses
Sunglasses come in various shapes and styles, including different types of sun lenses, such as mirrored, polarized, and tinted. Sunglasses should have the following features:
- They should have ultraviolet protection with a UVA and UVB blockage of 90 to 100%
- They should have the right lens size, color, and frame
- Material and quality of frame and lenses
- Anti-scratch and an anti-reflective lens layer
Why Wear Sunglasses
One wears sunglasses for protection because they cover the eyes, reduce strain, and are a stylish accessory. Sunglasses also reduce the glare of the sun’s bright light, reducing your risk of eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration or cataracts. If you are constantly exposed to UVA and UVB rays, it can put the health of your eyes at risk of eye diseases.
Types of Sunglasses
Sport sunglasses: These are specially designed for fast-paced activities like biking, running, or hiking. They offer wrap-around eye protection, lightweight, robust material, interchangeable lens, and clear vision. They also have grippy nose pads, and temple ends to keep them in place when you sweat during your activities. Choose a pair with high-end frame and lens materials since they are more flexible, durable, and withstand high-impact activities.
Glacier glasses: These are specially designed sunglasses that protect your eyes from intense light at high altitudes, bright light in front of you, and glare reflecting off the snow. They also offer a wrap-around extension feature that protects your eyes from the light entering from the sides.
Casual sunglasses: They are perfect for an everyday active lifestyle and basic recreational use. They shade your eyes from the sun while performing your activities.
Importance of Sunglasses
Sunglasses have various health benefits such as:
Ultraviolet (UV) Light Protection
The most crucial benefit of sunglasses is protecting your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light has harmful effects on the eyelids, lenses, and cornea. Exposure to lots of unfiltered sunlight may cause blindness and cancer. Children are more vulnerable than adults. Sunglasses need to be worn all year round. Reflective light is also not good such as the one from the water and snow, which causes a condition known as snow blindness. Glares from the reflected sun may also burn the cornea (corneal flash burn).
To protect yourself from glare, polarized lenses can come in handy to block out horizontal light reflected off flat surfaces. Tinted lenses may also help, especially those with a dark tint at the top that gets lighter towards the bottom portion of the lens. They also protect the eyes from UV light.
Long-term exposure to UV rays increases the risk of contracting cataracts and can worsen glaucoma.
Sunglasses Can Protect Your Eyes from Debris
Exposure to dust, wind, pollutants, and sand can lead to pain, irritation, discomfort, and redness in your eyes. The elements can also scratch your cornea and even cause permanent eye damage. Wearing sunglasses acts as a shield to protect your eyes from these elements.
Protection of The Retina
Over time, exposure to UV rays may damage the retina, causing a condition known as macular degeneration. This condition has no cure, and wearing sunglasses helps reduce the chances of developing it.
Sunglasses Can Protect Your Dry Eye
A dry eye can be very painful and uncomfortable, especially when you are outdoors and it is windy. The wind dries your eyes, resulting in redness, itchiness, and irritation. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the wind, keeping your eyes moist.
Sunglasses Help Prevent Eyelid Cancer
Sunglasses protect against eyelid cancer which may occur as a result of exposure to UV rays. Sunscreen products, when used on the sensitive skin of the eyelids, can cause irritation. To avoid this, sunglasses are a better option for protecting your eyes against eyelid cancer.
Promotion of Eye Recovery
After cataract surgery and procedures like LASIK, sunglasses can act as a protective cover or shield during recovery. Debris and sunlight can interrupt the healing process and cause pain and discomfort.
Wearing sunglasses can help promote a quick, worry-free recovery, especially when you need to go outdoors.
Migraine and Headache Prevention
If you regularly get migraines or severe headaches, the bright light from the sun may trigger them. Sunglasses keep your eyes comfortable when you are up and down performing outdoor activities. They block or soak up the sun’s rays and help avoid pain and discomfort caused by the bright light.
What to Look for When Buying Sunglasses
- The Best sunglasses have 100% UV-A and UV-B or UV400 protection.
- Purchase glasses with tinting and polarization (a feature that reduces glare).
- Choose sunglasses that have a wraparound style for great coverage.
- Your pair of sunglasses should be your choice that fits and suits your taste and preferences.
- Choose Bigger Sunglasses.
- Your sunglasses should complement the shape of your face.
- Consider your lifestyle needs; for example, you can choose sports sunglasses for high-paced activities like running.
- Price does not matter or guarantee UV protection.
- Quality of the lenses.
- Size of the sunglasses; the bigger, the better since they offer more coverage from UV rays.
When purchasing sunglasses, find quality, well-known brands that will offer UV rays protection and preserve your eye’s health. For more information please contact The Optometry Center for Vision Therapy.