While sunglasses might be categorized as your favorite accessory, they also provide major health benefits to your eyes. The sun emits powerful ultraviolet radiation that can damage your eyes over time, but sunglasses can help protect your eyes as well as provide you comfort from the bright light.
Here are some of the benefits of wearing sunglasses.
Prevent Ocular Damage
UV damage can have both short- and long-term effects on the eyes, including these eye conditions.
- Photokeratitis: A “sunburn to the eye.” This is caused by a large amount of UV exposure in a short amount of time and is typically temporary.
- Cataracts: UV exposure to the eyes over many years may cause cataracts to form earlier. Cataracts require surgery to be removed.
- Macular degeneration: Like cataracts, macular degeneration may be worsened by UV exposure. This can affect your central vision.
Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer
Sunglasses block the harmful UV rays from your eyes and skin around your eyes. Your upper and lower eyelids are made of thin skin, making it much easier for UV rays to damage them. In fact, one of the most common areas for skin cancer to occur is on your eyelids.
Prevent Headaches or Migraines
Headaches and migraines can be triggered when you have spent an extended amount of time squinting or in direct sun. Wearing sunglasses reduces squinting, eye strain and excess glare, which can also improve your clarity of vision.
Protection from Wind or Debris
Sunglasses can act as a shield from potentially harmful dust or debris. For those of you that suffer from dry eye, sunglasses are extremely helpful in preventing irritation to the eye.
Should you wear sunglasses? Yes! Here are our suggestions for how to pick the right pair.
Look for sunglasses that block 99% to 100% UV-A and UV-B rays. It’s also important to consider the shape and size of the sunglasses. We recommend picking frames that are close to your eyes and fit comfortably on your face. Polarized lenses can also be helpful in reducing glare, which can be particularly important if you have had a refractive eye surgery.
It’s important to remember to wear sunglasses regularly, even on those cloudy or overcast days. By protecting your eyes with sunglasses, you can enjoy the benefits of improved comfort and vision, as well as eye health.
Comprehensive Eye Care
From routine eye care to medical and surgical eye treatment, our ophthalmologists and optometrists are focused on your vision and the health of your whole eye.