Sunglasses are one of the top 5 words that come to mind when Americans think of the beach, but they don’t always wear them when they hit the sand. 32% of them forget, and 42% leave them at home to prevent tan lines.
Another problem is that 72% of Americans have admitted to wearing a cheap pair. The lack of protection they provide can be worse than not having them at all.
Wearing sunglasses is one of the best ways to protect your eyes from the powerful effects of UV radiation and daily hazards in your environment. They also prevent and ease the symptoms of several eye conditions.
Refusing to wear them leaves you open to many preventable issues. Read on to learn 5 ways that sunglasses can improve your eye health.
1. UV Protection
Ultraviolet radiation isn’t immediately visible because it doesn’t fit within the visible light spectrum. It has such a high level of radiation that it can cause serious damage.
There are several types of ultraviolet radiation to protect yourself from. UVA is the closest to visible light and has the lowest energy, UVB has more energy, and UVC has the highest energy levels and is the most harmful. They’re classified by their wavelengths.
These rays have a major impact on your skin, but they can also create sunburns on your eyes. Sunglasses protect every part of them, including the eyelid and the skin around them. Adding a hat may help, but it’s best to use both for extra protection.
Children need to take special care to protect their eyes because they haven’t developed enough. Old eyes may be unable to filter out as much light as well.
Other risk factors put you at increased risk of damage from UV rays, including:
- Previous cataract surgery or eye diseases
- Photosensitive drugs such as antibiotics or birth control
- Light-colored eyes
Make sure to look for the best sunglasses for you to get enough protection. Look for a pair with the highest possible UV protection numbers. It should fit and cover your face to protect your entire eye and the area around it.
2. Eye Disease Protection
UV rays have a major impact on every part of the eye, from the lens to the cornea and the skin around it. This is why failing to wear them can cause a range of eye diseases that could otherwise be prevented or have their symptoms reduced.
Macular degeneration is a leading cause of age-related blindness. It affects at least 2.1 million Americans.
Glaucoma damages the nerves of the eye and is another common cause of age-related blindness. It affects 2.7 million Americans.
Cataracts affect 2.4 million Americans. They cloud the lens of the eye and can’t be corrected without surgery. Almost everyone develops them over time, but you can slow down their development by wearing sunglasses when you go out.
Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, causes growths on the clear tissue around the eye. It can even spread to the cornea. It can be painful and irritating but isn’t a common cause of vision loss.
These are only a few of the conditions that UV radiation can cause or contribute to. Sunglasses can’t prevent them all because they’re also a result of aging, but they help reduce your risk.
3. Dry Eye Relief
Dry eye is a more specific but equally common eye condition. Approximately 16 million Americans have it, and the risk only increases with age.
Dry eye may not be as dangerous as other eye conditions, but it is one of the most irritating. It causes symptoms such as pain, irritation, grit, and itching.
Eye drops and medications can help, but sunglasses are one of the most effective forms of prevention. They keep the wind out and keep moisture in. They provide relief for dry eye sufferers and prevent the condition from getting any worse than it already is.
4. Blocking Elemental Dangers and Glare
There is no single answer to the question of when to wear sunglasses. It should be a daily task because UV exposure can happen almost anywhere.
Snow reflects a high amount of UV rays. It can cause a condition known as photokeratitis or snow blindness where the glare burns the cornea.
Wind dries out every part of the eyes. It also sends debris such as sand or dirt flying that can reach deep into the cornea and cause damage.
Cutting down glare is also important. The market for polarized sunglasses is growing and has reached $4683.5 million.
These lenses block glare coming up from windows, snow, ice, or water. They make daily tasks more comfortable, especially when you go outside. Their ability to prevent glare can even save your life when you go driving, skiing, surfing, or boating.
5. Speedy Eye Recovery
There are several types of eye surgery that patients receive. They include cataract or glaucoma surgeries, corneal transplants, and LASIK or laser in-situ keratomileusis to correct vision issues.
These procedures have high success rates, but they do have one major problem. They leave your eye vulnerable to damage any time you go outside and suffer the powerful effects of UV radiation.
Your doctor should stress the importance of wearing sunglasses after these procedures. They work like a band-aid or gauze over your eyes. They keep dirt and debris out of the sensitive operation site while also shading it from UV rays. This speeds up healing and prevents complications.
Where to Find Help with Finding and Wearing Sunglasses
Sunglasses may be a staple of summer, but they’re often left behind. Many don’t realize the dangers this causes.
The benefits of wearing sunglasses are almost endless. They protect you from UV rays, prevent eye diseases, provide relief from dry eye, block elemental dangers and glare, and speed up eye recovery after surgery.
Finding the right pair is also essential. You may need one with a prescription, but high UV protection and glare reduction are also important.
The professionals at EZ Optical can help you find an attractive pair of sunglasses that also shield your eyes. Request an appointment today.