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Summer safety tip: Sunglasses

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Once again, it is the summer season and everyone is getting ready to ward off the impending heat by going to the beach or the pool or simply soaking up the sun’s rays on a lawn chair. Whatever your plans are for the summer, chances are good that you will be bringing sunglasses along with you practically everywhere you go!

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Our eyes are precious to us since we rely on sight to do most things. Although sunshine contains healthy vitamin D it also contains UV rays that can be dangerous if the eyes are over exposed to it. For this reason sunglasses are popular summer items. Although the sun’s rays can produce intense brightness even on snowy days—therefore making sunglasses all-year-round accessories—the summer months can be particularly harsh and sore for eyes. Luckily, sunglasses can be purchased mostly anywhere and a good pair can cost under $10. Sunglasses come in many shapes and sizes so there is bound to be a pair that suits every style. As long as the sunglasses you purchase are marked as having “UV protection,” they should serve your eyes well.

Below are a few interesting facts about sunglasses:

• The sun’s UV rays cannot be seen by the naked eye but they can damage the cornea and retina if a person walks around in intense sunshine without sunglasses for long enough.

• A good pair of sunglasses can block as much as 97% of the light entering the eye. Sunglasses come with a brown tint to the lenses so even though the sun rays are kept out the person can still see perfectly well and often much better than they would without the brightness-dimming sunglasses.

• Sunglasses are an absolute must on the beach because they help to protect the eye from physical dangers like sand grains, dirt, or bugs. If any of those things get stuck in the eye they can cause intense pain. Sand grains are particularly difficult to get out of the eye if they get past the eyelids.

• Sunglasses have often been associated with “cool” imagery. For example, iconic figures like Elvis Presley were often depicted wearing sunglasses and the rock band ZZ Top even has a hit song titled “Cheap Sunglasses.”

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