Sunglasses are used to help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. However, it can be healthier for your eyes to limit use of your sunglasses to certain times.
Sunglasses are incredibly important to maintaining optimal health for our eyes. They are great resources for blocking the sun’s ultraviolet radiation so that we do not develop serious eye conditions.
Cornea: Your cornea can easily become sunburned by prolonged exposure in the sun. The cornea is the part of the eye that admits images and light to the retina and is sensitive to the sun. You can even develop cataracts by excessive exposure to the sun.
Retina: The macula is part of the retina and is easily damaged by the sun’s UV rays as well. This can lead to macular degeneration of the eye and contribute to vision loss in later years.
Iris: Those with blue or green irises should take more caution than those with brown irises because they are much more susceptible to sun damage. This can also contribute to vision loss down the road.
Lens: This transparent, biconvex structure located in the eye helps focus light on the retina in order to create clear images. Not shielding your eyes can damage the lens and lead to development of cataracts.
If you have any of the following symptoms after spending time in the sun, please consider seeing a doctor immediately:
While sunglasses are clearly important tools in protecting our eyes, they should only be worn in certain situations. Wearing sunglasses all the time can actually have a negative effect on your eyes. Here are a few reasons why:
Some sun is actually good for your eyes: As long as it is not excessively hot outside, there are actually wavelengths that the sun gives off that benefit your eyes. If you have sunglasses on constantly, your eyes will miss some of the 1,500-some wavelengths that contribute to your eye health.
Blocking too much sun impacts the entire body: Not only does constantly shielding the sun from your eyes impact your eye health negatively, but it also negatively affects the entire body. Your eyes take in the full light spectrum and this directly affects your brain’s hypothalamus, which controls many vital functions.
Increase of headaches: Studies have shown that areas with poor lighting can actually trigger headaches in people.
Wearing sunglasses continuously will make your eyes strain to see properly in poor light and cause headaches.
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