Sunglasses are a great accessory, but you might want to consider wearing them more often for more than just style. A pair of shades is the best way to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Sunglasses are made with specific coatings that absorb, block, or reflect UV light, keeping your eyes protected. Overexposure to UV rays can have both short and long-term effects on the health of your eyes.
A short-term effect is photokeratitis, also known as eye sunburn. With photokeratitis, the eyes redden, swell, and become sensitive to light. Photokeratitis also causes a painful, gritty feeling in the eyes, along with headaches and blurry vision. stay indoors and avoid light as it heals. It normally heals on its own within a few days, and staying indoors and avoiding light will help the process. A cold compress and/or eyedrops can be used to ease any discomfort.
Sunglasses can also protect beyond your eye. The skin on the eyelid and around the eye is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your skin, and sunglasses provide extra protection in that area.
All that said, how do you pick the right pair? The shape and style should be one that you can comfortably wear often, though keep in mind that bigger lenses can provide more protection around the eye. The colour and darkness of the lens are personal preferences and do not change the level of protection.
To get the most out of your shades, pick a pair with 99 to 100 percent UV protection, which is most pairs. These sunglasses may also be labelled as having UV400 protection. You may also want to consider polarized lenses, which reduce glare and make images sharper.
If sunglasses aren’t your thing, wide-brimmed hats can protect your eyes from up to 50% of sun exposure.