Everyone loves a good pair of sunglasses during the summer months. They look stylish, and more importantly, they keep the intense sunlight away from your eyes. You may think that’s only important because it helps you drive or spend a day at the beach without squinting, but sunglasses play a much larger role in your health. They don’t just cut down on the glare; they also save your vision from the UV ray exposure and all of the problems it can cause.
And that’s important if you want to keep your vision healthy later in life. The sunscreen you put on before you go outside protects your skin from UV rays that can cause skin cancer and premature aging, but many people forget that their eyes need to be similarly protected. The best way to do that is by wearing sunglasses with the proper protection.
One of the ways that sunglasses help keep your eyes in top shape is by preventing cataracts. Wearing sunglasses isn’t a foolproof way to prevent cataracts, but an estimated 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.
You’ll also be lessening your chance of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Again, the UV light from the sun increases your chances of age related macular degeneration.
And you’ll mitigate your risk for skin cancer. The skin around your eyes is very sensitive to sunlight, and nearly 10% of all skin cancers are found near the eyes.
Remember though, it’s important to check to make sure your sunglasses do actually protect from UV rays. The pair you picked up at the gas station may not have adequate protection, meaning your eyes will be wide open, but they’ll be taking in UV light from the sun.
While sunglasses are so named because of their ability to keep the sun’s harmful rays out of your eyes, that’s not the only protection they can afford your eyes. Remember that when there’s snow on the ground it can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays, and can even cause snow blindness—a condition where glare from the sun burns your corneas. So make sure you’ve got your sunglasses on when you’re skiing, climbing mountains, or spending extended time out in the snow.
Sunglasses are also great at protecting your eyes from sand, wind, and dust. Tiny grains of sand can end up irritating and even scratching your eyes, causing permanent damage. So always wear sunglasses that fully protect your eyes if you find yourself in a situation with lots of wind and sand.
Polarized sunglasses actually offer a better view of the outdoors when you’re faced with a glare. Rather than just squinting, you can open your eyes and enjoy a sharper view with more colors and contrast. And you won’t have to worry about what the sunlight is doing to your eyes.
Keeping your eyes protected is of the utmost importance if you want to have healthy vision later on in life. And if your vision isn’t quite as sharp as it could be, then why not consider LASIK? Millions of people have already had their lives changed for the better with LASIK surgery, so contact us today for a free consultation!