This post is brought to you by The Motherhood, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I don’t step foot outside without sunglasses. Honestly, it isn’t as much because I am really good about taking care of my eyes as it is that I have light eyes, I live in FL and bright sunlight hurts my eyes. I have become so accustom to wearing sunglasses that it is like putting on shoes. Turns out, it’s a great habit to have.
Last week I sat in on a conference call about the benefits of protecting your eyes from the suns UVA/UVB rays, and as I listened I became increasingly happy that wearing my sunglasses is so automatic for me. And I became increasingly resolved to make it a habit for my girls.
One of the important points that was discussed a lot during that call is the importance of sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection. The color and shade of your lenses doesn’t matter, what matters is the protection from the harmful rays. In fact, dark sunglasses without 100% UVA/UVB protection can actually be more harmful to your eyes.Because dark lenses cause your pupils to dilate, even more of the UVA/UVB rays are allowed into your eyes. Dr. Dora Adamopoulos who was on the conference call, an optometrist, mom and medical expert for The Vision Council, said that this is why she cautions patients from buying cheap knock off sunglasses off the street or online. When purchasing sunglasses, you should always buy from a reputable source that you are sure will adhere to guidelines for UVA/UVB protection. (Don’t worry moms, she confirmed that stores like the Disney Store are a safe bet.)
Another thing to watch for is scratches. When you scratch your glasses, not only do you have to look through the unsightly scratch, but you also remove the UVA/UVB coating allowing rays to reach your eyes. Suddenly worried about my own sunglasses, Dr. Adamopoulos told us that you can always take your sunglasses to an eye doctor to have the protection checked. That is the only way to be 100% sure you have 100% protection.
5 Reasons To Wear Sunglasses — Every Time
- Cloud cover isn’t enough – My mom always said, “More people get sunburnt on cloudy days than sunny days.” And she is right, on cloudy days people get a false sense that they are protected from the sun – but you are not. While it may appear darker, UVA/UVB rays still cut through the clouds and can cause sun damage. Protect your eyes by wearing a lighter tinted lens with 100% UVA/UVB protection. You will still be able to see, and your eyes will be protected. (Ditto for hats, just because you eyes are shaded doesn’t mean the harmful UVA/UVB rays are blocked.)
- Sun damage is cumulative – Just like protecting your skin from the sun, each time you expose your eyes to too much sun you are damaging them. Even if you don’t feel like it, the cumulative effect can lead to scary eye diseases like photokeratitis, pterygium, cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer of the eye, eyelid or surrounding skin down the road. (Don’t know what those big words are, Google them, they aren’t pretty.
- Habit forming – The more you do it, the more of a habit it becomes. Sure, you might forget the first 10, 20, 100 times. But keep at it, wear those sunglasses every time you remember and eventually it will become so automatic you don’t even have to think about it.
- All eyes are at risk – While those of us with light eyes tend to squint and feel the effects of the suns rays more easily, eyes of all colors are equally at risk from harm future problems. Don’t let the color of your eyes deceive you, the suns UVA/UVB rays don’t care what color your eyes are they will cause damage in the long run.
- Teach Your kids – If protecting your own eyes isn’t enough reason to wear your sunglasses — every time. Then do it for your kids. You know they copy everything you do anyway, so wear your sunglasses. If you teach them to wear them now, they won’t have to learn the habit as an adult.
BONUS reason – Sunnies are stylish!!!