By Jenny Belken, Optometrist
With summer quickly approaching, we will begin to see a significant increase in the number of people wearing sunglasses. While we may be exposed to more sunlight in the spring and summer months, sunglasses are actually extremely beneficial to wear all year round. Check out the numerous health benefits of sunglasses listed below to see why!
Prevent ocular damage
Sunglasses with UV protection help shield the eyes from damaging ultraviolet rays. UV damage can cause both short and long-term effects on the eyes. Here are a few of the most common ocular(eye) conditions due to UV damage.
- Photokeratitis: essentially a sunburn to the front part of the eye (cornea) resulting in pain, discomfort, excessive tear production, and twitching. This is usually temporary.
- Cataracts: the lens inside your eye becomes more opaque and difficult to see through.
- Age-related macular degeneration: a disease that affects your central vision, making it much more difficult to see anything you look directly at.
- Pterygium: an abnormal growth that occurs on the white of the eye extending onto the clear front window of the eye (cornea), potentially obscuring vision.
- Melanoma: a cancerous growth on the eye itself.
Reduce risk of skin cancer
Not only do sunglasses block the harmful UV rays from damaging your eyes, but they also block the UV rays from damaging the skin around your eyes. One of the most common areas for skin cancer to occur is on our eyelids.
Improve clarity of vision
Sunglasses help improve the clarity of your vision by reducing squinting, eye strain, and excess glare.
Help reduce migraines & headaches
Wearing sunglasses can help reduce the occurrence of migraines and headaches as sun rays and squinting for extended periods of time are often common triggers.
Protection from environmental elements
Aside from UV protection, sunglasses also protect our eyes from wind, debris, bugs, or anything else in the environment that could potentially go into our eyes.
It is important to note that people of all ages should be wearing sunglasses, including children. A child’s eye is less mature than an adult’s, resulting in more UV radiation passing through and causing damage to the inside of the eye. Wearing sunglasses helps reduce short and long-term damage from occurring to your eyes and they are also a great fashion accessory. So don’t forget to wear your sunglasses and protect your eyes!
The Eye Center located in Darlington, Lancaster, and Platteville all have a great selection of sunglasses.