Sunglasses have long been associated with looking cool. They also play an important role in protecting your sensitive eyes from the intense rays of the sun. Consider these reasons why it is important to invest in a good pair of sunglasses:
Sun rays contain ultraviolet (UV) radiation in two forms, UVA and UVB. These rays are invisible, but they can cause damage over time due to UV radiation. Exposure to UV radiation can contribute to disease that effect the human eye and vision systems. UVB exposure is also linked to skin cancer. Proper sunglasses protect your eyes from UV exposure, potentially preventing very damaging eye diseases down the road.
When sunlight reflects off of snow and water, it contains the blue portion of the colour spectrum. Blue light is very powerful and our naked eyes are not capable of focusing properly when it shines intensely. As we age, this exposure to blue light can add up and prematurely age our retinas and increase the risk of blindness.
Understanding Light Damage
Light is a powerful form of energy. Every time we are exposed to the energy of sunlight, the tissues in our body react at a microscopic level. This reaction adds up over time, as harsh light and UV exposure can contribute to retinal degeneration, cataracts, and even blindness:
- Your conjunctiva (white of your eye) can experience irritation and inflammation due to sun damage.
- Your retina can become damaged due to sun exposure. This can lead to macular and retinal degeneration.
- Light-coloured irises are more susceptible
- to sun damage than darker eye pigments. Damage can include macular degeneration.
- UV light can cause cataracts on your lenses.
- Your cornea can actually become sunburnt, just like your skin. It can cause severe pain and even temporary blindness.
Choosing the Right Sunglasses
Sunglasses block out a significant proportion of UVA/UVB rays and darken vision to reduce squinting and long-term vision damage.
- Cosmetic sunglasses are usually available cheaply and block out between zero and sixty percent of visible light and UVA rays. These are mostly worn for cosmetic purposes, as the name suggests, and should not be considered an adequate solution.
- General purpose sunglasses can be purchased over-the-counter or through a prescription from your eye doctor. They block between sixty to ninety percent of visible light/UVA rays and are best solution outside of specialized circumstances. They are good for daylight and daytime driving.
- Special purpose sunglasses can block almost one hundred percent of visible light and UVA rays, and are used in rare situations with prolonged exposure to the sun. They are not recommended for driving, however.
Clearly, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes safe and healthy. Visit our store today to pick out the perfect pair to finish off your look.