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Sunglasses – Not Just for Summer Anymore

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

There are many different reasons why someone decides to wear sunglasses, such as fashion, or because they can see better. The biggest reason that people should wear sunglasses is to preserve eye health. Sunglasses can help prevent many different ocular diseases that could cause vision problems in the future. Many people never stop to think that their eyes need to be protected all year, not just in the summer.

What do Sunglasses Prevent?

Here are a few things that sunglasses could be protecting you from:

  • Cataracts – Your eyes naturally develop cataracts over time, but exposure to bright sunlight rapidly speeds up that process. Cataracts cause vision loss due to the lenses of your eyes becoming cloudy from the damage.
  • Macular Degeneration – Considered an incurable eye disease and is proportionally related to age. Studies show that this will happen earlier if preventative eye care (like wearing sunglasses) is not taken care of.
  • Skin Cancer – Sunglasses not only prevent your eyes from having problems but also protect the sensitive skin around the eyes which is a common place for skin cancer to form.

Why are Sunglasses Important in the Winter?

Your eyes have a natural amount of moisture in them, and wearing sunglasses helps them to maintain that moisture that keeps your eye healthy, both in the summer and in the winter. Additionally, sunglasses provide a barrier between blowing dust and debris that could cause a corneal abrasion or an infection.  Sunglasses are also helpful in preventing eye strain in every season.

Additionally, there are many different ways that sunglasses help to prevent eye injury, and none of them are specific to the summer season. Winter often brings snow and ice, which reflect light rather than absorbing it, putting more strain on your eyes than any other time of year. Whether you are driving, skiing, or just out for a walk, sunglasses are a must to ensure that you take proper care of your vision all year round.

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