3 Reasons Why You Need Sunglasses

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During your last visit to your optometrist, you probably paid very close attention to any recommendations that were made about your prescription lenses.

But were you listening as closely when your eye doctor spoke to you about protecting your eyes from the sun? Here are three reasons why a pair of sunglasses is necessary.

1. Sun Damage.

As All About Vision states, prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun has been associated with eye damage such as pingueculae ( a thickened, raised area of the sclera, or white part of the eye) , macular degeneration, and cataracts. For this reason, it is recommended that you have sunglasses with lenses that are able to completely block UV rays.

Contrary to what you might think, UV rays still pose a substantial hazard even when the day is overcast or cloudy. That’s because UV rays are a form of radiation that can’t be seen, and they’re able to penetrate the cloud cover.

When you get a pair of sunglasses for yourself, don’t forget to get a pair of sunglasses for your child as well. Some research indicates that since children generally spend much more time outdoors than adults do, as much as 50% of our lifetime exposure to UV rays occurs by the time we’re 18 years of age. Because the lens of a child’s eye are clearer than the lens of an adult’s eye, UV rays can penetrate more deeply into children’s eyes. Therefore, children also have an increased risk of UV damage to the retina.

2. Safety.

AAA reports that glare from the sun is more of a hazard if you’re driving immediately after sunrise or just prior to sunset, when sunlight is shining directly into a driver’s eyes. That makes it much more difficult to see what’s ahead of you in the road and spot potential danger, such as a child running across the street. Due to these risks, AAA recommends investing in a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses, which greatly reduce glare from reflected surfaces such as car hoods.

3. Style.

There’s nothing like a great pair of sunglasses to give us an aura of mystery and sophistication. What’s even better is that we don’t have to sacrifice sun protection for the sake of style. Sunglasses that fit your head more closely in a wrap-around fashion or styles that have larger lenses offer better protection for the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes, and you’ll still look terrific.

Your optometrist or optician will be more than happy to discuss the best type of sunglasses to fit you and your lifestyle. Before you know it, you’ll be looking cool — and protecting your precious vision at the same time.

Gina Crisci