Most people know the sun’s rays are bad for our skin. But did you know they are just as bad for our eyes? Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The aim is to ensure lenses have sufficient UV filters as inadequate levels could affect the cornea and internal structure of the eye
Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include:
- Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision.
- Macular degeneration, resulting from damage to the retina that destroys central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
- Pterygium, a tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism. It can sometimes become red and painful. Use sunglasses to prevent it from occurring and use it if you already have it to prevent it from getting worse.
- Skin Cancer, 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.
- Photokeratitis, essentially a sunburn of the eye, it's temporary (healing within 48 hours) but can be painful, causing blurred vision, light sensitivity, and the sensation of having sand in your eye.
- Dry Eyes, sunglasses prevent excessive evaporation of tears and keep your eyes well lubricated.
- Protection from 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 and the wind. 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 ARE STYLISH!!!!
Now the fun reason! Sunglasses come in many colours, shapes, and styles and there’s sure to be (at least!) one that you’ll love. You can even have different sunglasses for different activities or to coordinate with different clothing styles!
Look for quality sunglasses that offer good protection and gives you cool fashion too. Sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.