The Importance of Wearing sunglasses

Many indi­vid­u­als apply sun­screen to pro­tect their skin from expo­sure to the harm­ful rays that are emit­ted by the sun. How­ev­er, not as many indi­vid­u­als take the same pro­tec­tive mea­sures for their eyes against those same harm­ful rays. Unpro­tect­ed expo­sure to the sun can cause very seri­ous vision and eye com­pli­ca­tions. Wear­ing prop­er sun­glass­es is a sim­ple, but extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial action that indi­vid­u­als can do to main­tain healthy vision and eyes.

Block­ing UVA and UVB

Only sun­glass­es that offer a high per­cent­age of UV pro­tec­tion are ben­e­fi­cial. Sun­glass­es that do not pro­tect against harm­ful UVA and UVB rays are just a fash­ion acces­so­ry and pro­vide no health ben­e­fits to the wear­er. UVA and UVB rays have been linked to cause cataracts, benign growths on the eye sur­face, skin can­cers of the eye­lid, and pho­tok­er­ati­tis. Tak­ing such a small step as wear­ing prop­er pro­tect­ing sun­glass­es when out in the sun­light can pre­vent these seri­ous eye and vision com­pli­ca­tions.

Cataracts are a con­di­tion that caus­es the lens to become cloudy, which results in blur­ry vision. Both UVA and UVB have been shown in stud­ies to have some impact upon the for­ma­tion and devel­op­ment of cataracts. Prop­er sun­glass­es should be rat­ed to block out 99–100% of all UVA and UVB rays. The benign growths that can devel­op from unpro­tect­ed expo­sure to UVB rays can be unap­peal­ing, cause corneal com­pli­ca­tions and impair vision. The skin of the eye­lids can be very sus­cep­ti­ble to skin can­cer. Pho­tok­er­ati­tis, or snow blind­ness in extreme cas­es, is the inflam­ma­tion of the cornea can be caused by high short-term expo­sure to UVB rays. The main symp­tom of pho­tok­er­ati­tis is tem­po­rary vision loss up to 48 hours.

Blue Light

Blue light that comes from the high-ener­gy end of the vis­i­ble light spec­trum and is the type of light that is emit­ted from LED lights. Blue light has been linked to cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to reti­nal cells in the eyes that can lead to mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion. Mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion is the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of the reti­na cells, which are respon­si­ble for relay­ing the images we see to the optic nerve, and is the lead­ing cause of vision loss, even more than cataracts and glau­co­ma.

See­ing in the Dark

The last main vision con­se­quence that can arise from not wear­ing prop­er or any sun­glass­es is the loss or delayed dark adap­ta­tion. Exces­sive time spent in bright light can hin­der the eyes abil­i­ty to adapt quick­ly to indoor or night­time light. This can extreme­ly haz­ardous when an indi­vid­ual has been dri­ving in bright sun­light and has to adapt to dri­ving in low light envi­ron­ments.

Best Type of Sun­glass­es

The best type of sun­glass­es to buy for the most pro­tec­tion is ones that are rat­ed to block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays and UV 400 (which are the tini­est UV rays). The col­ors of lens­es do not mat­ter as much in pro­tec­tion but yel­low and rose– col­ored lens­es tend to dis­tort col­ors and are not rec­om­mend­ed for dri­ving. Gray, green and brown-col­ored lens­es reduce light inten­si­ty with­out dis­tort­ing col­ors, which would be safer for dri­ving. And if a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time is expect­ed to be spent on the water, polar­ized lens­es would be a good option because they fil­ter the reflec­tive glare off of the water.

November 20th, 2015|Comments Off on The Importance of Wearing sunglasses

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