When you need to alter your looks in an instant, there’s one accessory that can pull it off better than anything: a pair of designer sunglasses. Want to look like you’re hiding from the paparazzi? Don a pair of oversized sunnies to cover half your face – that should do the trick.
But there’s more than meets the eye (pun intended) when it comes to shades, and it’s not just a fashion accessory. We’re talking about the most important function a pair of sun lenses were made for: complete eye protection.
Why Wear Sunglasses?
When it’s hot and the sun is out, you wear sunscreen to protect your skin. But what about your eyes? A wide brimmed hat or cap can block out 50% of the sun’s UV rays, but eye doctors say that’s not enough protection. You need to wear a pair of high quality sunglasses that are rated to block out 100% of the sun’s UV A and UV B radiation.
The reason you should do whatever it takes to shield your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun is because of two things: first, UV radiation can cause major damage to your eyes in the form of eye diseases. These eye problems can sometimes lead to serious and long term complications if left untreated.
Second, the thin layer of skin surrounding your eyes and the eyelid itself are prone to skin cancer. The only way to protect your eyes and the surrounding areas is to wear sunglasses. Ideally, you should choose a pair that wraps around your face so that your whole eyes and the thin skin surrounding it are always protected.
Eye Problems to Expect
Photokeratitis is a painful but temporary eye condition is basically the sunburn of the cornea and conjunctiva and is also called “snow blindness”. This happens a lot to skiers and snowboarders who are exposed to UV radiation and glare at high altitudes because fresh snow reflects about 80% of the UV rays, which is a problem when your eyes aren’t protected.
Cataracts are the progressive clouding and yellowing of the lens, which is what you use to focus. At least 10% of all cataract cases are a direct result of UV A and UV B exposure and is the common cause of treatable blindness.
Macular Degeneration is the result of cumulative damage to the retina due to years of exposure to the harsh UV radiation of the sun. Damage to the macula (the region where vision is at its sharpest) leads to progressive vision loss.
Cancer of the Eyelids. Another reason to never leave home without your sunglasses is because of one of the scariest diseases around: cancer. Cancer of the skin around the eyes and the eyelids is more common than you think, so you should always wear sunglasses when driving, running or whenever you’re doing anything under the sun.
Other ways Sunglasses Protect your Eyes
Aside from UV radiation protection, sunglasses can also protect your eyes from the wind, flying debris, sand and dust. Blowing wind can dry out your eyes, especially if your tear production is low. You’ll also enjoy the outdoors more because you’ll see more comfortable behind the tinted lenses.
Have you ever noticed that it takes a while for your eyes to adapt indoors or even in the shade when you spend a couple of hours under the sun? Darkness adaptation is important, especially when you drive at night after spending hours under the sun. Counter this by wearing a sunglasses with a darker shade of gray.
Glare is another problem when you love to frolic under the sun. Fishermen, skiers and even truck drivers complain about glare, and with good reason: the sunlight bouncing off a reflective surface is painful and can cause headaches or even migraines.
Polarized sunglasses can help shield your eyes from glare, but vision is limited when looking down, which is why it’s not recommended for motorcyclists and people who need to look down to see or operate controls. The guys over at allineyewear.com have a great selection of good looking polarized sunglasses to choose from.
Always Have one Ready
Make it a point to own not just one pair of sunglasses, but one for the car, one in your purse, one in the office and one you place next to the door so you won’t ever forget to take it with you when you leave the house. It’s better to preserve and protect your eyes, rather than having them treated after damage.