The doctors have been telling us for years to wear our sunscreen to protect our skin from the harmful damage of the sun. What we haven’t been reminded of is how easy it is to damage our eyes if we don’t protect them also.
A recent report titled “Finding Your Shades, Protecting Your Vision” was published by the Vision Council in 2012 in hopes of raising awareness for the benefits of wearing sunglasses for both adults as well as children. “A substantial proportion of people still do not understand that UV exposure is harmful to the eyes as well as the skin,” says Paul Michelson,MD, an ophthalmologist in La Jolla, California, and chairman of the Better Vision Institute, the advisory arm of the Vision Council. “Even those who do understand, few understand it is the cumulative exposure that can be damaging.”
UVA and UVB Rays
It is important for people to know that even though the UV rays are invisible to the human eyes, they are still very harmful. As the UV radiation reaches the Earth’s surface, it is made up of both UVA and UVB rays. Unprotected eyes can be damaged with short and long term exposure leading to temporary and permanent vision impairment.
Medical Problems Associated with UV Exposure
- Skin Cancer
- Macular Degeneration
The 2012 Consumer Sunglass Study
The Vision Council polled 10,000 adults across the United States on their use and knowledge of sunglasses. The pole determined that 27% of American adults don’t wear sunglasses at all. When asked what prevented them from protecting their eyes, the following responses were given.
- 20.2% did not believe that they were at risk from sun exposure
- 16.4% find them inconvenient
- 48.8% forget to wear sunglasses
- 13.9% lose or break sunglasses easily
- 5.8% too costly to buy
- 10.8% not important to me
It isn’t necessary to purchase expensive sunglasses. The most important factor is that the sunglasses block 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB light. You can choose the best frames that fit your face, style preference, and activity level, while giving you the protection you need. You want your sunglasses to feel comfortable so that you will wear them all the time.