Sunglasses: more than a summer add-on* 

Aperol spritz in Venice
A lot of people associate wearing sunglasses with the summer season. However, there is more to sunglasses than just being an add-on accessory to look good in pics when you’re travelling. Believe it or not, there are a lot of added benefits in wearing sunglasses, and here are just some of them.

Sunglasses actually protect your eyes…

Since they are more famous as fashion accessories, people tend to underestimate how well wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes. First, there’s the obvious protection against dust and other particles whenever you engage in outdoor activities. Wearing sunglasses ensures that there will be a protective layer to deflect harmful debris and particles from getting into your eyes. 

The bigger picture involves ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to sunlight is unavoidable as part of our daily living, and the sunlight is the main source of ultraviolet rays. Wearing sunglasses donned with proper coating helps protect your eyes from the harmful conditions brought by ultraviolet radiation, from short-term effects like eye irritation, sensitivity to light, and moderate eye pain, to more serious impacts like developing cataracts, photokeratitis or eye sunburn, and even macular degeneration. Ultraviolet rays have the ability to penetrate past cloud cover, so wearing sunglasses during times of strong sunlight can significantly help keep your eyes’ corneas from being damaged. 

The same is actually more relevant for children since kids tend to spend more time playing in the sun and therefore get more exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Children’s eyes are also less capable of filtering out ultraviolet rays, making them more at risk of optical damage. If you have kids who like to play outside during the day, getting them proper sunglasses might be a good idea to protect their eyes.

..and your skin, too!

Sunglasses also do a good job at protecting the skin around your eyes, which is also one of the most sensitive areas on your face. The skin around your eyes is at least ten times thinner than the rest of your face, making it easier for this skin to be bruised and damaged, especially by ultraviolet radiation. Wearing sunglasses decreases your chances of getting skin cancer on your eyelids and skin around your eyes, especially if your shades’ frame size covers a good amount of space on your face. Moreover, when your eyes get hurt due to brightness your natural reflex is to squint, which can lead to wrinkles in the future if done often. Wearing sunglasses can, therefore, help your skin age better by keeping you from squinting too much.

They help reduce glare

When bright light has direct contact with your eyes, there is a negative sensation that follows immediately called glare. Glare can cause a lot of visual discomfort depending on how strong the source of light is and how long the exposure lasts. Usual causes of glare are direct sunlight, powerful artificial light from car headlights or household lights, and reflected light from enablers like water and mirrors. Glare hurts your eyes because they get exposed to a level of brightness much more intense than what they are used to, and continuous exposure to glare can lead to serious eye damage.

Wearing polarised sunglasses helps solve the issue with glare, by absorbing the brightness of the light before it gets to your cornea, effectively reducing the damage and reflecting the light instead so that you can see better. Using polarised shades to protect your eyes from glare can be especially helpful while driving during sunny days since the sunlight might cause distracting reflections that can be dangerous for you and everyone else on the road.

There are several types of sunglasses offering different types of protection from ultraviolet rays, so make sure that you consider these benefits when buying new sunglasses too and not just the aesthetics when purchasing a new pair.

[post in collaboration with Great Southern Sunnies]

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