What Do Sunglasses Really Do for Your Eyes?

When You Should Be Wearing Them Plus What to Look for When Purchasing New Sunglasses 

Many think of sunglasses as an accessory. Others see them as just for driving or just a necessity during the summer. But the truth is, sunglasses are actually important for the health of your eyes. 

The Protective Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses

The sun emits harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays that can damage your eyelid, cornea, lens, and retina. These UV rays can change your skin and eye cell structure, causing burns and injuries and putting you at risk of skin cancer and eye diseases that can lead to permanent vision loss. Some of those eye diseases include but are not limited to, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and cornea and conjunctiva damage. 

There is also a beauty benefit to wearing sunglasses. The right kind of sunglass lens can help protect the delicate skin around your eyes from aging. The skin around your eyelids is the thinnest skin on your body, and is at higher risk for sun damage. 

When to Wear Sunglasses

You should wear your sunglasses year-round anytime you are outside to protect your eyes from UV rays. This means even wearing sunglasses during the middle of winter and on cloudy days while outside. 

This is even more important in higher elevations, such as in Colorado, where there is less atmosphere to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Not only is direct sun exposure dangerous, but so is reflected light from water. And if you hit the ski slopes this winter, sunglasses are a must unless you want to deal with corneal burn. 

What To Look for In Sunglasses

It’s important to get the right kind of sunglasses or you could cause damage to your eyes. 

UV Protection

Specifically, you should look for lenses that block both UVA and UVB rays (100% UV protection). Dark sunglasses create a darkened room effect that lead to your eyes dilating to adjust to the lower light. However, if your lenses do not block both types of UV rays, you have essentially left the door wide open for UV rays to enter and severely damage your eyes. 

Optional Features

Getting a wraparound style is great for those who spend extended amounts of time outside. This will help reduce the amount of UV rays that would otherwise seep through the sides of the sunglasses. Polarization is an optional feature. It helps reduce glare and makes it more comfortable for your eyes. 

Prescription Sunglasses

Prescription sunglasses allow you to have the clearest vision possible while protecting your eyes. You can opt for prescription sunglasses or progressive lenses, which automatically adjust to your lighting situation, providing you protection and clear vision inside and outside without having to remove your glasses! 

If you’d like to get a new pair of prescription sunglasses or progressive lenses, schedule an appointment at Black Diamond! We’ll give you an exam for an updated prescription and assist you in picking out your new frames!



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