Approximately 80% of people wear sunglasses in the summer, but that number quickly drops to 33% during winter months. Even then, many people don their glasses to help reduce glare while driving, which begs the question: are sunglasses really necessary?
The answer is a resounding yes! Sunglasses are necessary all year long, not just during the sunny summer months.
Our team knows that sunglasses are more than just an accessory. Nicanor Lacsina, O.D., and Yelena Pinkhasova, O.D., are happy to help you find sunglasses that fit your style and protect your eyes whether or not you need prescription lenses.
Here, we explore four benefits of sunglasses and why they’re necessary.
1. Sunglasses prevent sun-related eye issues
High-quality sunglasses protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet rays, including both UVA and UVB. By shielding your eyes from these harmful rays, you can reduce your risk of sun-related eye issues such as:
Excessive UV exposure can increase your long-term risk of developing cataracts, and if you already have them, the sunlight can exacerbate your symptoms, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Wearing sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection is the best way to decrease your risk of cataracts; they reduce your long-term exposure to the sun’s rays.
One of the leading causes of blindness is macular degeneration. Though UV radiation can expedite this process, the good news is that wearing sunglasses on a regular basis may help reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Pterygium, known as surfer’s eye, refers to a painful and annoying growth on your eye. Studies show that people who spent five or more hours in the sun had a higher chance of developing pterygium than those who spent two or fewer hours in the sun. Eye drops, steroids, and surgery (in advanced cases) can treat pterygium, but the best defense is a good offense: sunglasses.
2. Protect your eyes from debris
Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, but they also protect your eyes from debris, including dust, dirt, and even wind. Too much wind can make your eyes feel dry and is even worse for those wearing contact lenses.
3. Sunglasses protect the skin around your eyes
Sunglasses cover your eyeball and a portion of your orbital area, including your delicate skin. Wearing sunglasses can help prevent wrinkles around your eyes (from squinting into the sun) and from getting skin cancer on your eyelids and around your eyes. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of periocular skin cancers. You can reduce your risk of getting these type cancers by making sunglasses a daily accessory.
4. Sunglasses can help prevent headaches
Sunlight and squinting because of the sunlight are two common migraine triggers. For many migraine sufferers, going outside without sunglasses is enough to trigger a migraine attack. Keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your purse or car so you’re never caught unprepared.
When to wear your sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses daily is important: it doesn’t matter which season you're in, and it’s especially essential to wear sunglasses when:
- It’s sunny and you’re outside
- You’re driving
- You’re skiing ー snow glares can be blinding!
- You’re exercising outside ー we can help find a sporty pair suitable for physical activities
- You’re biking, riding in a convertible, driving a motorcycle, or any other activity that exposes your eyes to high wind and potential debris
- You’re at the beach in any season ー sunglasses protect your eyes from sandy irritations!
Bottom line: sunglasses are vital whether you wear prescription lenses or not. Not sure if you need prescription sunglasses or non-prescription lenses? Our team first performs an eye exam to determine your current prescription and see if you need prescription lenses.
Once you’re ready to select your sunglasses, you have to make a few choices, including which frames you’d like and which customizations you want to select.
The expert team at Bainbridge Eye Care has over 20 years of experience and is happy to partner with you when making your selections. Our team can change the tint percentage in your sunglasses and add specialty coatings, including mirror-coating, polarization, and anti-reflection.
Treat yourself to a new pair of sunglasses! Contact Bainbridge Eye Care today by calling 718-306-9142 or request an appointment online at our Bronx, New York office.