Coolness Factor Aside, Here’s Why You Need to Wear Sunglasses
One of the coolest accessories you can add to your wardrobe is a pair of sunglasses. Hey, they can work in the summer and winter. But you shouldn’t be wearing them just for the coolness factor. They actually serve a more important function than you might think.
If you've ever wondered if the UV protection part of a good pair of sunglasses is just a tactic to increase the price by the company that produces them, think again. UV protection is significant to the long-term health of the eyes. Don't worry; there are plenty of pairs to choose from that are stylish and protective.
Just like you should be wearing sunscreen to protect your body's largest organ during all seasons, rain or shine, you should be wearing sunglasses year-round for a similar reason. No matter what, a good pair of sunglasses will always be an attainable fashion moment as well. Start taking the health of your eyes and your variety of shades more seriously.
What’s at Risk?
Just like we take our chances when it comes to our overall health by not getting checkups at our general practitioner yearly, many people don't visit the optometrist at all if they don't have contacts or glasses. Your eye health is just as important as your dental health, for example, perhaps more so depending on whether you’re more attached to your eyes or your teeth.
Experts have identified how significant wearing sunglasses are, especially polarized pairs that provide strong and specific protection from the sun. Without protection from the sun, your eyes can very quickly and significantly deteriorate from exposure, in a similar way to the way UV rays affect the skin.
Speaking of sun exposure to the skin, without the use of sunglasses, your eyelids can also develop skin-cancerous cells. You definitely don't want this. It's challenging to put sunscreen on your eyelids as it is, so having a protective pair of sunglasses is a compromise that won't bring the threat of foreign substances burning the insides of your eyes.
Most importantly, without protection like sunglasses, the essential parts of your eyes risk dangerous exposure. The eye function you stand to lose the most from sun exposure is the retina. Wearing sunglasses can protect this vital part of the eye from later degeneration (or vision loss), which can happen naturally over time. You’ll also be able to protect your eyes from potential cataracts development.
The good news is that by wearing sunglasses regularly, you can protect the retina from this potential degeneration. Get yourself a good pair now, and wear them year-round. Just don't wear them inside because that will never be cool.
What Else Can Sunglasses Help With?
Sunglasses don't just help out your eyes and your outfit. They also can protect you from various debris floating around in the world. If you're someone who's involved in outdoor sports, sunglasses are an essential accessory.
If you're a snowboarder or skier, you're most at risk for damage from sun exposure. With the reflection of the rays combined with the brightness of the snow, and the higher elevation that usually comes with the territory of outdoor winter sports, you'll need sunglasses to protect you from the multitude of dangers to your eyes. There's a condition called "snow blindness," and it's as bad as it sounds.
If you're into watersports, you should also be wearing some type of sunglasses to prevent eye damage from the sun, as long as they won't fall off or get lost.
Other extreme sports carry a risk of eye damage if they threaten to expose the eyes to dust, debris, or sand. ATV rides are great, but you don’t want to go blind from them. Wear sunglasses during these outings to protect your retinas from being scratched, which can cause permanent and irreversible damage.
Sunglasses Can Help With Headaches
By wearing sunglasses, you can also prevent headaches that come with too much bright sunlight. These headaches can become migraines later, so it’s best to have some mode of protection.
It’s safer to wear sunglasses when you’re driving, as it helps keep the glare out of eyes, which could prevent accidents. Keeping the light out of your face and eyes while you’re driving will also help you to drive more comfortably, especially on road trips and long drives.
What Sunglasses Should You Be Wearing?
Now that you know the risk factors associated with the eye’s exposure to the sun, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent it.
Not all sunglasses will work to keep the sun’s harmful rays out of the eye, though any protection is better than nothing. Therefore, if you have a cheaper, lighter pair you've been using, it's not the end of the world. There's no better protection for the eyes than shades; baseball caps and sun hats will protect the face from the sun, but not the eyes.
When you're shopping around for a pair that will last you, look cool, and protect your precious pupils, then you're in luck. There's a plethora of options.
Don’t Worry About How Dark They Are
Just because a pair of shades is dark, doesn't mean that they're optimal for sun protection. In fact, lighter shades aren't detrimental either. You'll want those shades that protect specifically from the rays that will damage your eyes, so color or transparency isn't a significant factor when you're choosing a new pair. Same goes for expensive pairs - the higher price tag doesn't mean better protection.
What's important is that the sunglasses protect specifically against harmful rays. You'll want to choose a pair that boasts full UV protection, or protection against UVA or UVB. Many pairs will have a sticker that advertises that they have UV 400, which protects against both UVA and UVB. These are relatively easy to find in various stores and online, and can definitely be stylish.