Shore Eye Associates

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Top 6 Reasons to wear your Sunglasses

We are about to embark on another great summer season here at the Jersey Shore.  Apropos to the coming increase in our exposure to sunlight, our blog this week is about sunglasses.

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement.  They provide an important means of protecting your eyes from problems that occur when exposed to UV light.  If you are a sunglass wearer mostly for fashion that’s great, just make sure they block UVA and UVB.  If you are not a sunglass wearer please read on so we can try and convince you (for your own good) why you should be.

Here are your top 6 reasons for wearing sunglasses:

Preventing Skin Cancer

lower eyelid basal cell cancer

The strongest evidence that sunglasses provide a medical benefit is in preventing skin cancer on your eyelids.  UV light exposure from the sun is one of the strongest risk factors for the development of skin cancers. 

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

 About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Your eyelids, especially the lower eyelids, are also susceptible to UV light from the sun and they do develop skin cancers somewhat frequently.

Many people who now regularly apply sunscreen to help protect them from the UV light often don’t get that sunscreen up to the edge of their eyelids because they know the sunscreen is going to make their eyes sting and burn.  Unfortunately, that leaves the eyelids unprotected.  You can fix that by wearing sunglasses that block out both UVA and UVB rays.

Decreasing Risk for Eye Disease

cortical cataract

There is mounting evidence that lifetime exposure to UV light without protection can increase your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.  It also increases your risk of getting growths on the surface of your eye called Pinguecula and Pterygiums.  Besides looking unsightly they can interfere with your vision and require surgery to remove them.  All of those problems are better off with prevention than treatment.

Preventing Snow Blindness

The snow reflects UV light and the exposure can be intense enough on a sunny day to cause a burn on your cornea like what happens when people are exposed to a welding arc.

Protection From the Other Elements: Wind, Dust, Sand

Many times, when you are spending time outdoors and it is windy, you risk particles blowing around in the wind getting into your eyes.  Sunglasses help protect you from that exposure.  The wind itself can make your tear evaporate more quickly and cause the surface of your eye to dry and become irritated and then cause the eye to tear (for more on how dry eyes can actually cause tearing see this BLOG POST).

Decreasing Headaches


People can get headaches if they are very light sensitive and don’t protect their eyes from bright sunlight.  You can also bring on a muscle tension headache if you are constantly squinting because the sunlight is too bright.

Clearer Vision When Driving

sunglasses for driving
We have all experienced an episode of driving, coming around a turn and going directly into the direction of the setting or rising sun causing our vision to be significantly impaired.  Having sunglasses on whenever you are driving in sunlight would help prevent those instances.  Just a general reduction in the glare and reflections that sunlight causes will make you a better and more comfortable driver.

Go out there and find yourself a good pair of sunglasses that you look great in, and make you healthier too.

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Friday, 21 January 2022

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