For many people, a pair of sunglasses is more of a fashion statement than a healthy living accessory. And while the perfect pair of shades might make you look like a celebrity, they’re doing more than just giving you an air of mystery. In fact, those tinted lenses are going a long way toward protecting your eyes. Here are some ways that sunglasses are important to your health.
They shield you from ultraviolet rays
Ultraviolet rays are regularly associated with negative side effects for skin and eyes. And just like you rub sunscreen on yourself to prevent sunburns, you should be throwing on a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from harm whenever you step outside. UV rays can cause cataracts to develop, and may be the cause behind macular degeneration and photokeratitis.
All of these conditions can greatly affect your vision, and may be prevented through the use of sunglasses. Fox News explained that many people rely on hats to protect their eyes from rays, but brims are only about 50 percent as effective as sunglasses are at shielding your eyes. So, while that baseball cap is a step in the right direction, it won’t replace the protective powers of sunglasses.
The source noted that sunglasses can help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer as well. Many people don’t realize that it’s fairly common for cancer to form on the eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes. Wearing sunglasses whenever you head outside can help prevent UV rays from harming these areas.
In addition to these serious diseases and injuries, wearing sunglasses is a simple way to guard yourself against facial wrinkles. If you’re worried about exacerbating pesky crow’s feet, throwing on some shades could help keep these signs of aging at bay.
They protect you from debris
You don’t have to be playing in the sand or trekking through the forest to get a piece of debris in your eye. In fact, just walking down the street puts you at risk for getting hit with dust or dirt. Sunglasses operate as an effective barrier between your sensitive eyeballs and external debris, explained Eye Kit. When the wind picks up it can carry dirt toward your face, which could cause you to experience corneal abrasion, explained the source. Sunglasses are instrumental in protecting against this painful injury.
Wind can also cause your eyes to become uncomfortably dry, but sunglasses can help keep them moist by fostering tear production. This is especially important for people wearing contact lenses who may experience dry eyes.
They can help with chronic headaches
If you’ve ever had a painful headache, or if you experience regular migraines, you know that blocking your eyes from light can help dull the discomfort. Headaches are often associated with an overactive visual cortex in the brain, Jie Huang, Ph.D., associate professor of radiology at Michigan State University, told WebMD. Whether you experience occasional headaches or chronic migraines, be sure to wear sunglasses whenever you leave your home.
They reduce glare to keep you safe
The concept of driving off into the sunset might be blissful and romantic, but anyone operating a vehicle at this time of the evening knows that the sun’s rays can be practically blinding. This is especially true when there’s snow or ice on the road, as the light can cause an even harsher glare. Boaters know this struggle as well, as the sun’s reflection on the water is extremely bright.
Not only is staring at harsh light bad for your eyes, but glares can obstruct your vision and put you at risk for getting into a serious accident. You should always wear sunglasses with polarized filters when driving to keep yourself and your passengers safe, recommended Eye Kit.
They can help you heal after a LASIK procedure
Opting for a LASIK procedure is a great choice for improving your vision, and sunglasses are instrumental to the LASIK healing process. You should wear sunglasses for 24 hours after your procedure, whether you’re inside or outside. You should even consider wearing them to bed, as this can reduce the risk of accidentally rubbing your eyes. Sunglasses should also be worn for the two days following your LASIK treatment whenever you go outside, as they shield your face from debris, dirt and harmful rays.
Overall, sunglasses are about way more than personal style – they’re important accessories you should never leave home without. Next time you consider ditching the shades, remember all the ways they can protect your well-being.
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