Wearing sunglasses is becoming more and more popular. With good reason. Sunglasses, with their many colors, shapes and materials, underline our character and help us reinforce our personality. So they have become one of our favorite accessories.
But the style factor of sunglasses is not their only advantage. First of all, sunglasses have an immeasurable protective function against UV rays.
They protect our eyes from serious eye diseases and are the best protection against harmful sun rays. For adults and children, whether it's summer or winter!
Find out what characteristics of sunglasses protect our eyes and why branded sunglasses are more expensive but also much more protective.
1. Sunlight can cause serious eye diseases
As the name suggests, we wear sunglasses to protect ourselves from the sun and its UV radiation. Just as our skin needs to be protected from excessive sun by using sunscreen and long clothing, our eyes also need to be protected. This is because solar radiation has fatal consequences for our cornea and retina.
If too much unfiltered sunlight reaches our eyes, especially at a young age, serious diseases can develop, leading to complete blindness or even cancer.
Note: An adult lens can absorb UV light to a certain extent so that it cannot enter the eye.
However, children's eyes are particularly vulnerable: During the first years of life, 90% of UVA rays and over 50% of UVB rays reach the retina, and between the ages of 10 and 13, 60% and 25%, respectively. It is only between the ages of 18 and 20 that the UV rays can be filtered by the lens. Read our 7 reasons why children need to wear sunglasses.
Here is an overview of the most common eye diseases caused by sunlight
Cataracts are clouding of the eye's natural lens. It is the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40 and is also the most common cause of blindness around the world. Also, with age, cataract risk factors include ultraviolet radiation. To prevent cataracts, you should wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of the sun's UV rays. However, complete prevention of cataracts by sunglasses is not guaranteed, as the disease can also be triggered by physiological factors other than sun exposure
Macular Degeneration Macular degeneration occurs when the small central part of your retina, called the macula, disappears. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. It usually does not cause blindness but can cause serious vision problems. Several known studies have suggested that sun exposure may be a risk factor for macular degeneration and that the skin's sensitivity to sunlight and iris color play a central role in determining macular degeneration.
Most melanomas affect the skin, but some develop in other parts of the body, including the eye. Eye cancer (ocular melanoma) develops in the pigment-producing cells that give color to the eyes. Exposure to UV light can increase the risk of conjunctival melanoma. This melanoma occurs on the surface of the eye.
Which sunglasses protect you against serious diseases caused by the sun? Not all sunglasses are equally effective. Whether they're vintage, cheap, expensive, or polarized, they may or may not be doing their job of protecting our eyes. Most sunglasses today have UV protection built into the lens rather than coated over it, and most reputable brands list UV protection on its label. Look for a label that says "100% protection against both UVA and UVB" or "100% protection against UV 400.
2. Snow glare, sand and wind cause painful irritation to the eye
Although most of us think that sunglasses only protect against the sun, they also provide a shield against many other risk factors.
Just as sunglasses protect us against UV radiation from the sun, they also help us against UV radiation and reflected light from the snow.
Snow reflects 80% of UV rays from the sun and can cause a condition called snow blindness, where glare from the sun actually burns the cornea (corneal burn). If you ski, snowboard or hike in the snow (at any time of the year), please wear sunglasses. Make sure they cover and protect the bottom of your eyes, due to the reflective nature of snow.
Sand can also cause serious irritation and soiling of the eye. Therefore, always wear sunglasses when lying on the beach or playing volleyball. Learn about what else hurts your eyes at the beach.
Ultimately, wind can irritate and dry out your eyes. Therefore, sunglasses provide protection in particularly windy situations. If you are prone to dry eyes in windy conditions, consider using eye drops.
3. Our eyes need special care when recovering from surgery
Some of us choose to undergo eye surgery to combat vision impairment, to be able to see without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. A frequently performed operation is LASIK. The correction is achieved with a special laser that reshapes the cornea with the aim of changing the focusing power.
Over time, the eyes steadily improve. So it is possible to go back to work a few days after the operation and go back to the daily routines. Patients may experience discomfort during the first few days, such as mild irritation and sensitivity to light, halos, glare or shooting stars in dimly lit environments.
In the vast majority of cases, these problems are temporary and disappear completely within three to six months. During this time, the eyes should be strictly protected from sunlight, dirt and weather. The best way to achieve this is by wearing high quality sunglasses.
4. Cheap lenses of
Cheap, low-quality lenses harm your eyes more than not wearing glasses at all. Although sunglasses from the supermarket, clothing store, gas station or from vendors on the beach are very common and cheap, we strongly advise against these cheap lenses. Unfortunately, cheap sunglasses often do not provide enough sun protection and can therefore lead to serious eye diseases. The reason for this is simple: the dark tinted lenses of all sunglasses, whether expensive or cheap, dilate our pupils. As a result, we see better in darker lighting conditions. However, the dilation of our pupils can have serious consequences if the dark lenses do not offer built-in UV protection. The sun's rays can penetrate the eye unhindered and cause diseases such as cataracts or eye cancer (see above). Therefore, always wear high-quality sunglasses that have a label that guarantees 100% UVA and UVB protection.