For many people, sunglasses are just something that completes or elevates their outfits. You wear them when you head to the beach, take a walk in the park or go somewhere for vacation. However, they are more than just fashionable accessories. Wearing them is one of the healthiest things you can do for your eyes and overall wellbeing.
Just as sunblock will protect your skin, wearing sunglasses will shield your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Even when the weather is outcast or it’s snowing, you should keep wearing them. Unfortunately, many misconceptions still surround them even with all their benefits.
Debunking Myths and Misconceptions About Sunglasses
The Color of the Lenses Affect Its UV Blocking Capabilities
There is a notion that the color of sunglasses affects their ability to protect the eyes from the sun. It may help to know that the UV protection eyewear can offer highly depends on its lens material or treatment. You will get the same level of performance from sunglasses with gray UV-blocking lenses and yellow UV-blocking lenses. There are colored lenses that can increase contrast, which is ideal for individuals playing sports, like golf and softball.
UV-Blocking Sunglasses Are Costly
It isn’t uncommon for people to think sunglasses with total UV protection is costly. Fortunately, you can now get ones with 100% UV protection for reasonable prices. The price of this eyewear varies by manufacturer and frame material. Usually, what you can get for a few dollars can offer the same protection as products with a hefty price tag. Keep in mind that high-quality sunglasses are more likely to last longer, not have distortions and fit better.
All Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes From UVA or UVB Light
Sunglasses are not all made equal because some do not come with UVA/UVB protection. Don’t purchase products without this feature to avoid irreversible damage to your eyes. Luckily, you don’t need to spend as much to buy UV protective eyewear these days. They are also available in various styles to complement every outfit and occasion.
The Darker the Lenses, the Better Protection They Provide
Just as lens color doesn’t define how well a pair of sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun, light lenses can defend against UV rays just as well as dark ones. Lens tints can serve other purposes that don’t have anything to do with UV protection.
Photochromic Lenses Don’t Block That Much UV Rays
Photochromic lenses feature trillions of small silver halide and chloride molecules, which react when exposed to UV rays. Under the sun, they turn from clear to dark. After an eye examination, a specialist can determine if this eyewear is ideal for you.
Photochromic lenses can keep your eyes safe from UV rays just as any other type of lens with UV protection. During the day, they can help people with myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism drive better. However, when it’s really bright outside, wearing sunglasses might be more comfortable.
Extra UV Coating Is Always Better
You might have already seen sunglasses with extra UV coating, claiming they can offer better protection from UV rays. The truth is, if your lenses already come with UV protection, additional UV coating isn’t necessary.
Polarized Lenses Are Better for UV Protection
Polarized lenses with UV coating will protect your eyes the same way as other lenses with UV protection will. They come with a special chemical with molecules that keeps some light from penetrating the lenses. These lenses work well in cutting glare, making them suitable for outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, golfing, skiing and snowboarding.
There is also a common misconception that sunglasses that block UV rays are not necessarily polarized. Before purchasing a new pair, check its label to see if it is polarized. You can always consult your eye doctor for assistance when choosing the ideal eyewear for your needs.
Adults Need Sunglasses More Than Children
People of all ages will benefit from wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, especially younger ones. In fact, they need more protection from the sun than adults. A child’s lens can allow 70% more UV radiation into the retina compared to an adult’s lens. Parents should be aware that wearing sunglasses is just as important as applying sunscreen when going outside.
You Need Sunglasses When It’s Sunny Outside
No matter if it is sunny or cloudy, you still need to wear sunglasses. Not because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean there are no UV rays present. When the weather is outcast, it will help to wear a different tint or lens type to see better. It could be hard to see outside with dark-colored lenses.
Summer Is the Only Time You Must Wear Sunglasses
Even during the colder months, sunglasses are a must, especially in snowy environments. Your eyes can receive twice the amount of UV rays from sunlight reflected off the snow than from the sky. In the fall, you should also wear proper eye protection because it’s usually the time of year the sun shines directly into your eyes.
Scratches on Sunglasses Won’t Affect Your Eyes
While scratches on sunglass lenses won’t reduce their ability to protect your eyes from UV radiation, they can contribute to eye strain. It’s because your eyes need to work harder to see through compromised lenses. It’s one of the many reasons to be careful with your glasses and replace them if they have scratches.
The Size of Your Sunglasses Doesn’t Matter
Did you know that wraparound frames and larger lenses can protect your eyes better against the harmful effects of UV rays compared to standard-sized lenses? The larger the lenses are, the more sunlight they can block. With bigger sunglasses, you can keep UV rays away from the different sides of your eyes. When purchasing a new pair, you must always consider the size.
Why Wear Sunglasses?
Avoid Headaches and Migraines
Being in bright environments and exposure to direct sunlight can trigger headaches and even migraine attacks. If the light is what’s causing your headaches, your eye doctor might suggest wearing sunglasses for prevention and comfort.
Keep Your Eyes Safe From Debris
When it’s windy outside, dirt, dust and other debris can enter your eyes. With sunglasses, you don’t have to worry about foreign items disrupting your vision or causing discomfort. If you have allergies, they can prevent pollen from entering your eyes and causing irritation.
Reduce the Risk of Cataracts
Cataracts are more common in older individuals. The likelihood of this eye condition increases with constant exposure to UV rays. When not treated immediately, it can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness. Wearing sunglasses can help protect your cornea against cataracts.
Lower the Likelihood of Macular Degeneration
In its early stages, macular degeneration shows no apparent symptoms. Many times, patients only notice changes in their vision once the eye condition has progressed. Regular eye exam appointments can help with the early detection and treatment of macular degeneration.
Skipping sunglasses can speed up the deterioration of the macula. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. You can preserve your vision for longer by protecting your eyes from UV rays with sunglasses.