If you’re like many of us, sunglasses are a fun accessory. Not only do they look cool, but they also help us avoid having to squint in the bright sunshine. But beyond all this, sunglasses serve a very important purpose in preventing UV damage to eyes. Here’s a little more information about when to wear sunglasses, along with some eyewear tips to keep your eyes in optimal health.
1. Protect your eyes from sun damage
As mentioned, the right kind of sunglasses provides protection for eyes from harmful UV rays. But it’s not just exposure that’s a concern; did you know that your cornea can actually get sunburned? Furthermore, your retina can be damaged by the effects of the sun’s rays, which can ultimately result in vision loss. Anytime you can see natural light from the sun, whether laying by the pool, driving your car, going for a walk, etc., make sure you’re wearing a proper pair of sunglasses.
2. Reduce your odds of developing astigmatism
In addition to causing damage and vision loss, UV rays from the sun can also cause pterygium, a tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye. This tissue growth can actually change the natural curvature of the eye and ultimately cause astigmatism. Astigmatism is usually fairly mild in its impact, but it can create blurry distance vision and lead to discomfort or headaches.
3. Slow down - or halt - disease progression
Finally, there’s another major reason to cover up your eyes and limit their exposure to the sun. Many eye diseases are believed to be accelerated, or possibly even brought on by, UV damage over time. For instance, 20 percent of cases of cataracts are caused by extended UV exposure. And macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., comes from damage to the retina (damage which is often caused by UV exposure). There’s also a form of cancer called eyelid cancer, that can be largely prevented by protecting your eyes from the rays of the sun.
All of these reasons make it clear that using proper sun protection for your eyes is crucial for optimal eye health and vision. However, not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection. Our experienced team of vision professionals can help you determine what type of sunglasses would be best for you and your eyes and most importantly, which type of sunglasses provide 100% UV protection.
To schedule an eye exam, or check out our selection of sunglasses, please contact us.