Let’s get one thing straight before we start — we are NOT in any way, shape or form encouraging the behavior of wearing your sunglasses inside. Unless you’re playing high-stakes poker, please, just don’t do it. OK? OK.
Good, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about wearing your sunglasses outside. That’s where they belong and are actually necessary — not just as a fashion statement or to help you look cool, but to ensure your eye safety.
We often hear about how harmful UVA and UVB rays can be to your skin (for more on that, click here), but they can be just as harmful to your glimmering baby blues, greens, browns, hazels — you get the point.
An American Eye-Q survey issued in early June found that only 32% of Americans understand that the summer sun can do as much damage on the eyes as it does to unprotected skin. Exposure to small amounts of ultraviolet radiation over a period of many years increases the chance of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancer.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you should use sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to reduce the risk of developing those minor or serious eye problems. Also, summer and water/snow sports intensify light reflection in your eyes, so wear a hat with a broad rim, remember that the sun’s rays shine on through the clouds and take extra precautions during peak sun times (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.).
For more tips and info on eye safety from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, visit the organization’s EyeSmart site here.