Why You Need Sunglasses

Sunglasses make you look cool.

No, that’s not the real reason that you need sunglasses. The real reason is that sun can damage your eyes, and sunglasses afford some needed protection.

Just like skin, eyes can receive temporary damage, much like a sunburn. It’s called photokeratitis, and it can be uncomfortable. “Snow blindness” is one form of photokeratitis, but light reflecting on water or light colored stone can create similar effects.

And just like skin, eyes can also end up with more permanent damage from the cumulative effects of repeated sun damage. After years of squinting into the sun, you’ll not only have wrinkles around your eyes, but you may also have some of these unpleasant conditions:

  • cataracts
  • macular degeneration
  • pterygia
  • pingueculae

The last two are growths on the cornea. Macular degeneration comes with age, but sun damage makes it more likely, and more severe. Cataracts may not be completely preventable, but the University of Maryland Medical Center lists avoiding sun exposure to the eyes (along with eating your fruits and veggies and cutting out smoking and drinking) as an important way to minimize your risk.

Your sunglasses should filter out both UVA and UVB rays. Pay attention to the shape, as well. Sunglasses like those from Suncloud or Oakley’s M Frames that are wrapped around the face protect the eyes from rays coming in at the side of the lenses.

Do your eyes a favor and protect them with some snazzy specs.

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