As summer approaches and days get warmer, warnings about the dangers of sun exposure also spread. We may stock up on sunscreen and plan our summer outings to avoid the heat of the day. Did you know it’s also important to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays? Sunglasses are much more than a fashion statement. They can help protect your eyes from various eye diseases as well as aiding your vision.
Here are 3 reasons you should get a good pair of sunglasses and make sure to wear them this summer.
Prevent Eye Diseases
Cataracts and macular degeneration are both linked to sun exposure. My grandpa dealt with both of these problems; he had multiple surgeries to remove cataracts and underwent monthly treatment for his macular degeneration. He was a farmer who likely spent long hours outdoors, in the bright Alberta sun, during his youth and adult years. Thankfully, modern medicine was able to treat the eye problems that he developed in his later years.
His experience has made me more aware of the need to care for my own eyes. I’m sure a pair of sunglasses is cheaper than surgery or medical treatments.
Sunglasses can also help prevent skin cancer. The skin around your eyes is thin and sensitive, and it’s hard to apply sunscreen there. Wearing a hat and a good pair of sunglasses can help prevent skin cancer on your face. If cancer is common in your family, as eye disease is in mine, then take this extra step this summer to prevent future problems.
Aid Vision and Prevent Headaches
The one place that I most frequently wear glasses is in my vehicle. That’s where I keep my clip-on pair of sunglasses. Bright, sunny days in both summer and winter cause me to slip on my sunglasses. Driving is definitely safer when I’m not squinting through sun glare or tilting my head to avoid the sun streaming through a window into my face.
I recommend keeping your sunglasses in a place where you can easily grab them when you need them. For me, that’s in my van console, where I can grab them in bright weather. You may want to keep a pair in your purse or just by the door to grab on your way out. If you constantly find yourself forgetting your sunglasses, get a second pair so you can have them where you need them.
Constantly squinting into the sun can also lead to headaches. If you are on water or snow, be aware that you may have twice as much glare from the sun reflecting off the water and snow. Your eyes’ attempts to deal with this extra sunlight can cause headaches. Again, a hat and sunglasses (as well as lots of water) can help prevent discomfort.
Children Need Sun Protection Too
Since the weather has turned nice, my girls spend most of the day outside. Our patio door stays open as they run in and out, entertaining themselves effortlessly by pretending their camping, climbing trees, or playing tag. They spend more time outdoors than I do, and it’s important that they learn to protect their eyes as well.
Over the years, we’ve had various pairs of sunglasses for the girls. As little fashionistas, they love the idea of sparkly glasses in their favourite colours. The problem is, their glasses don’t tend to stay on for very long… they often lose their glasses… and they’ve broken several pairs over the years. When they ask for sunglasses, my first thought is, “No, it’s too much hassle…” Instead, I should work on reminding them to wear their glasses and to keep them in a safe spot when they take them off.
Choosing Your Sunglasses
When picking sunglasses, look for a pair that offers 99-100% UVA and UVB protection. Grey lenses are the least likely to distort colours. Larger lenses protect more of your eyes, as well as the skin around your eyes, from the sun’s rays. Polarized lenses can help cut down on glare while you are outside, but do not protect from UV rays.
If you wear glasses already, like I do, consider wearing contact lenses in the summer so you can slap on a pair of sunglasses easily. You can also get prescription sunglasses (something I’ve frequently considered). If you’ve had laser eye surgery done (as many of my friends and family have), sunglasses are still important to protect your healing eyes from the sun.
For children, choose sunglasses that are comfy, fit well, and seem fairly sturdy. We’ve had sunglasses with flimsy arms that didn’t stay on the girls’ faces. Another option is to get a pair with an elastic strap instead of arms; these are less likely to break and more likely to stay on active children.
This post has been sponsored by Discount Glasses; all opinions remain my own.