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Why Sunglasses Are So Important for Eye Health

June 13th, 2018

The Sun’s Rays Can Cause Life-Long Damaging Effects

While we tend to wear sunglasses that are stylish or chic, these shades serve as much more than a fashion statement. Their main purpose is to protect our eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can be extremely harmful.

In light of National Sunglasses Day on June 27th, our team at Logan Eye Care wanted to talk about the short-term and long-term damage that UV rays can cause and how to properly shield your eyes with sunglasses.

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses

Most people know UV rays are harmful on our skin, but some might not know that they are just as bad for our eyes. Hanging out on the beach, running errands around town or just doing daily tasks outside without sunglasses can cause some of the following damaging eye conditions:

Cataracts

A cataract occurs when your eye’s natural lens begins to cloud and causes blurred vision. About 20 percent of cataract cases are caused by excessive UV exposure.

Macular degeneration

The leading cause of blindness in the U.S., macular degeneration results from deterioration to the retina, which damages central vision. Extended exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing macular degeneration.

Pinguecula

Pinguecula is a growth that forms yellow spots or bumps on your conjunctiva, the clear, thin membrane covering the white part of your eye. Pinguecula often appears on the side of your eye near your nose and causes dryness, irritation, blurred vision and sometimes feels like there is something in your eye.

Pterygium

Sometimes starting as pinguecula, pterygium causes a wedge-shaped bump to form on your eyeball, starting on the white of the eye and can eventually invade the cornea. Pterygium can disfigure the eye and cause blurry vision.

How to Choose the Right Sunglasses

To prevent any damaging or irreversible effects on your eyes, it is important to choose the right sunglasses. To make sure your eyes are getting their fullest protection, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Look for sunglasses that have 100 percent UVA and UVB radiation protection.
  2. The bigger, the better—buy sunglasses that give you full protection and even wrap around so sun cannot enter from the sides.
  3. Do not let color influence your decision. Certain colored lenses do not block more sun.

Take the steps today to protect your eyes. If you are looking for a pair of sunglasses or even prescription sunglasses to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, contact Logan Eye Care.