What essentials come to your mind on a hot summer day when the sun is shining in the sky? Most people think of sunscreen, a hat to block the sun’s rays, and light flabby clothes to overcome the hot weather. Hardly will people mention or think about sunglasses. One crucial essential that you should always have in your hand on such days is sunglasses. This is because studies show that sun rays impact your eyes in different ways and damage them in the long run. People often associate sunglasses with style and fashion, oblivious that they serve a great function in the eyes’ overall health. Sunglasses work by shielding the eyes from sun rays and prevent eye damage. However, not just any type of sunglasses can do the job; you have to select the appropriate sunglasses.
The relationship between the sun and your eyes’ health
Sun rays are harmful to your eye’s health in different ways. The ultraviolet radiation of the sun makes your eyes susceptible to cataracts. Cataract is a condition that makes the eye’s lens appear clouded and causes blurred vision. In normal eyes, the lens is clear. Cataracts develop slowly over time due to the effect of the sun’s rays. The rays cause cataracts by damaging important proteins located in your eyes’ lenses.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun also increases the risk of macular degeneration. This is where the macula, the delicate central area at the retina’s back, deteriorates. It causes blurred vision and eventually results in age-related blindness. In fact, macular degeneration is the most significant cause of blindness in older adults.
Exposing your eyes to sun rays can also cause cancer of the eyes and photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is a form of sunburn of the eyes that causes temporary blindness.
Why are sunglasses important?
As earlier mentioned, sunglasses are a must-have item on a sunny day. They prevent ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun from damaging your eyes. By doing so, sunglasses protect you from eye cancer, photokeratitis, cataracts, and macular degeneration. All these conditions progress gradually every time you expose your eyes to sun rays without sunglasses. They eventually lead to permanent eye damage later in life. Therefore, sunglasses prevent permanent eye damage if worn consistently on sunny days. Furthermore, sunglasses can protect the skin around your eyes from sunburns and wrinkles to give you a youthful appearance.
Not all sunglasses are beneficial; you need to find glasses that block at least 99% of the ultraviolet type A and type B. Just because your sunglasses were expensive does not mean they are more effective in protecting your eyes. Even cheap sunglasses can do the job. The shade of the glasses is also not important since darker shades are not more effective in blocking the sun’s rays. You should be looking for two things when buying your sunglasses; ultraviolet protection and the lens size. Always go for sunglasses labeled UV protection and with lenses of a bigger size. The big-sized lenses can block sun rays from all directions.