Looking Shady: Why you should wear sunglasses year-round

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Most people know the sun’s rays are bad for our skin. But did you know they’re just as bad for our eyes?

When people think of wearing sunglasses they think of summertime, but the UV rays are just as harmful in the winter. The reality is the sun’s rays don’t hibernate!

So going forward think of your sunglasses as less of a fashion accessory and more of an eyesight protector. Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include:

  • Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. Physicians estimate 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.
  • Macular degeneration, resulting from damage to the retina that destroys central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
  • Pterygium, a tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism.

To help keep your vision sharp and healthy, when purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. To make sure the glasses you buy have the UV protection, this should be clearly marked on the tag or on the glasses themselves.

Other things to consider are the size of the glass lens. The larger the glass the more coverage to the eye. Luckily oversize glasses have been in style for years and not only give more protection to the eye itself but to the delicate skin around the eyes. Bonus here as this means less premature lines and wrinkles around the eye! And if they slightly ‘wrap’ around, this also adds more coverage.

UV rays can cause serious vision problems at any stage of life so wear those glasses year-round, your eyes will thank you.

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