No one has ever said, “I should wear sunglasses all the time.” Or at least no one I know has ever said something like that.
Now, I know. That’s a lame introduction, but hear me out. Half of the population doesn’t like to wear sunglasses all the time, and the other half of the population does like to wear sunglasses all the time. The half that doesn’t probably prefers no sunglass tan lines during the summer. The other half that does probably wears them because it gives them this nice, stylish, trendy look. However, did you know that eye doctors actually recommend that their patients wear sunglasses as often as possible when the sun is out? Allow me to explain a little bit more.
Sunglasses look cool, as I briefly explained above, correct? Correct. They look even cooler when you have the option to choose from hundreds of different styles. Other than that, we don’t see why we need to wear them all the time. In fact, we don’t see, or understand, why wearing a baseball cap to shield our eyes from the sun doesn’t act as enough protection. In addition, we don’t see, or understand, why shielding our eyes from the sun with our hands isn’t enough. It’s a very confusing process to understand (why we should wear sunglasses all the time, that is).
However, now that I’ve done my research, and I’m extremely willing to share my research with you, you’ll be able to know the reasoning behind the statement, “you should always wear sunglasses.”
Ophthalmologist Lisa Park helps us in the process of understanding this bizarre statement. After being interviewed on the topic, she provides us great insight. Below, I will list her top three reasons for wearing sunglasses.
It affects the retina in your eye.
Through time, your retina changes, as does every other part of your body. Specifically speaking, your retina can start to have what is known as macular degeneration. This type of degeneration makes the nerve tissue in your eye sensitive to light. In the end of this macular degeneration, you may gradually lose some of your vision. However, on the other hand, if you were to wear sunglasses all the time, you’d be able to protect your eyes from these photoreceptors, therefore stopping your chances of UV damage to the eyes.
It affects the lens in your eye.
Unfortunately, everyone will, at some point, develop clouding in the lens of their eyes. This is also known as cataracts, and most of the time cataracts must be removed through minor surgery. However, if you try your best to prevent this through using sunglasses, you’ll be able to halt the progression of cataracts.
Skin cancer on the eyelids.
Believe it or not, being exposed to the sunlight without wearing sunglasses may cause skin cancer of the eyelids. This is very painful, to say the least, and I think you can imagine why. In addition, those that are prone to cancers of any kind, specifically skin cancers of any kind, should definitely wear sunglasses all the time. You want to prevent skin cancer at all costs by loading up on the correct SPF sun block, but you also want to protect your eyes from cancer, too. I mean, think about it: If your eyelids get cancer, don’t you think you’ll be more apt to lose a lot, if not all, of your vision?
Are you convinced yet that you should always wear sunglasses?
In addition to the top three reasons of why you should wear sunglasses all the time, Dr. Park adds a little bit more advice to live by. She says, just like your sunscreen, your sunglasses should have ultimate protection through use of UVA and UVB protection. UVA rays harm your eyes through progressing the signs and symptoms of macular degeneration and cataracts. On the other hand, UVB rays can cause cancer of the eyelids. So, Dr. Park states that you should purchase sunglasses that have protection against both types of rays.
As far as the color of the lens goes, Dr. Park states it’s irrelevant which shade you choose. Darker glasses are not necessarily better for your eyes, she claims. Instead, try to go for polarizing glasses, considering they help with UVA rays, UVB rays, and reducing the amount of glare that can be targeted at your eyes. In other words, glares are when light bounces off of another object and hits you directly in your eye; Polarized glasses can stop the glare from going directly into your eyes.
So, I think it’s safe to say that we listen to Dr. Park and ophthalmologist’s alike. They have given us their words of wisdom and they hope we abide by it. And, in addition, I hope you all abide by it, because I wouldn’t want any of those three things happening to me, or to you. They all seem pretty painful, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of pain, especially when it comes to my eyes.
Well, I hope you take everything I’ve given you into consideration for the rest of your lives. Put those sunglasses on and keep those eyes healthy. Hell, if you don’t want the damn sunglass tan marks, put a towel over your head on top of the sunglasses. Your face may be a little bit pale, but at least you won’t be harming your eyes. And, if you don’t want the tan lines at all, but want a tan face, look into the lens that can be placed only on your eyes. They have them out there somewhere.
Good luck this year and from here on out!
By Jenny Lyn