Sunglasses Aren’t Just for Looking Cool, We Have to Protect Our Eyes Too!
Don’t forget about your eyes!
Hair, clothing, and sunscreen can protect our skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation. When we think about UV damage, we think about protecting our skin because that’s what we are told to do from a young age. Wear sunscreen, cover up, etc. But what about our eyes? They are also at risk of over-exposure. We don’t have sunscreen for them, but we do have sunglasses.
What level of damage am I talking about?
The biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation, UV-B, can be very dangerous for your eyes. Over-exposure to UV-B has been known to cause many effects, such as cataracts, macular degeneration (distorted vision), and snow blindness (photokeratitis). With snow blindness, the radiation damages your retina, which can cause temporary or in some cases permanent blindness. Some of the harm that UV-B can have on your eyes can be cured, but will typically have long term effects. Over-exposure on any surface is very dangerous for your body.
Did you know: Snow blindness can occur often in areas without snow! The reflection of radiation off of white snow only increases your risk. So wear your sunnies year-round!
Other than style, what am I looking for in sunnies?
With the right type of protection, your eyes will thank you, and you will thank yourself. Industry standards in Canada make it so manufacturers have to label the amount of protection in sunglasses. It is best to look for the highest protection possible. Depending on your lifestyle, you might want to get different lenses with special glare or coating. A guide to sunglasses and standards for UV protection in Canada can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/products/sunglasses.html