How much do you think about eye safety during your day-to-day routine?
Unless you’re an eye doctor or a factory worker, probably not much. However, millions of Americans suffer from eye problems every year — many of which are preventable.
Do you know one of the easiest ways to ward off cataracts, skin cancer, and macular degeneration? It’s simple: wearing sunglasses!
Keep reading to learn five ways this basic fashion accessory protects your long-term eye health.
1. Ward off Eye Disease
Excessive amounts of sunlight sound great in theory, but it can do serious damage to your eyes. Wearing sunglasses helps to prevent:
- Skin cancer
- Macular degeneration
- Pterygium (surfer’s eye)
- Dry eye
Cataracts cause cloudy, blurred vision, while macular degeneration destroys your central vision. And if you think sunblock is all you need to prevent skin cancer, think again. Up to 10% of skin cancer cases occur on the eyelids!
It’s true that there are many medical treatments available for these conditions. But as always, the best treatment is prevention.
2. UV Protection
The root cause of many of the health problems listed above is UV rays. The same rays that can damage your skin can also have the same effect on your eyes.
Make eye safety a priority by wearing sunglasses that offer full UV protection. Look for products labeled “100% UVA and UVB protection” or “UV400.”
3. Protection From the Elements
The sun isn’t the only outdoor element that can damage your eyes. If you’ve ever been hit in the face by blowing sand, snow, or dust, you know it isn’t ple asant.
Spending time in the snow (especially on a sunny day) can actually burn your cornea and lead to a condition known as snow blindness. Sand, meanwhile, can scratch the surface of your eye, even leading to permanent damage.
Wearing sunglasses is a terrific and stylish defense against the elements of nature!
4. You’ll Look Younger
Let’s face it: Sunglasses are cool, and they add instant style to the person who wears them. Nothing says “celebrity” or “Hollywood” like a pair of dark, oversized Oakley sunglasses.
Even if you’re not famous, you’ll look and feel more confident sporting a pair of shades. And since you’ll squint less, you’ll actually preserve your youthful good looks longer by warding off wrinkles and crow’s feet.
5. You’ll Have Less Eye Strain
Squinting isn’t just annoying. It can do a real number on your eyes, your vision, and your entire head. In fact, bright sunlight can trigger headaches and migraines.
Even if you don’t typically struggle with headaches, wearing sunglasses will reduce eye fatigue and eye strain. This means you can safely and comfortably spend more time in the sun.
Make Eye Safety a Priority!
Wearing sunglasses is more than just a fun fashion accessory.
It’s a vital part of maintaining your eye health as you get older. Keep the tips listed above in mind as you choose your next pair of sunglasses!
Now that you know more about eye safety, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more informative articles like this one!
Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.