One thing I always make sure I pack when I go on holiday is a pair of sunglasses. In fact, I always get excited as soon as it’s spring-time and my sunglasses come out of hiding. I usually have tired eyes from working too late and the kids either waking me up in the night or super early, so it’s great to feel more confident in my shades and hide my eyes!
I always feel like it’s acceptable to wear my sunglasses all the time in the spring and summer, but I hide them away in the winter months. This is definitely something I need to get over as UV sunglasses aren’t just there to stop me squinting in the sun, but they also play a vital role in protecting our eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The importance of sunglasses
What is the importance of wearing sunglasses all year long? The importance of sunglasses goes far beyond being a cool summer fashion accessory that make us look and feel great. They’re not only to be packed for our summer vacations, but should be worn throughout the year to benefit our eye health.
Here’s why you should always make sure you pack your UV sunglasses when travelling, and even when you’re not.
Protect your eyes from sun damage
The sun’s harmful UV rays can not only cause damage to our skin, but to our eyes as well. Sun damage can cause long-term eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. These are serious issues that can result in blindness. Wearing the correct sunglasses all year long can literally save our sight.
According to Transitions UK Transitions European Study (2008) our eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than our skin, yet only 7% of the UK population is aware of the risks of UV to their eyes.
We’ve all had it drummed into us from an early age not to look directly at the sun, but most of the UV radiation that makes it into our eyes is indirect. That means it is reflected off pavements, windows, wet roads, snow and metal. It’s just as damaging as direct UV radiation so we need to avoid it by wearing suitable eye protection.
It’s so important to check your eye health regularly with a professional such as Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care where you can sign up to their MyLeightons care plan to look after your eyes and hearing for life. By getting your eyes checked on a regular basis you can ensure you notice any problems in their early stages as well as receive expert advice on the best UV sunglasses to protect your eyesight from sun damage.
Improve your sight in dazzling sunlight
Sunny days can put a spring in our step and make us feel happy, even in winter, but the bright sunlight can actually be very dazzling. This can be dangerous when driving as the low sun reflects off the road and almost blinds our view.
The same can happen when taking part in winter sports such as skiing when the sunlight reflects off the snow and blinds vision momentarily. Whilst it’s only a temporary loss of sight from the bright sun, it can be enough to cause a devastating accident.
Wearing sunglasses can help prevent our sight being blinded so severely by the dazzling winter sun reflecting off roads, cars and even snow, which can ensure our safety.
Preventing our eyes from squinting by wearing sunglasses might help prevent premature wrinkles and fine lines, but it can also improve our health by preventing headaches too. Constantly straining our eyes and squinting on bright days, no matter what time of year, can cause eyestrain and headaches.
Protect your eyes from the elements
Wearing sunglasses also has the added bonus of protecting your eyes from elements such as dust, wind and sand. These can irritate the eyes and even damage the cornea. This is particularly appropriate when travelling when you’re more likely to be exploring beaches, climbing mountains or venturing down dirt tracks and dusty roads.
With all this in mind, I definitely won’t be packing my sunglasses away for winter this year.
Make sure you have a CE marked pair of sunglasses that block at least 95% of UV rays and keep your eyes protected all year long for the above reasons.
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This is a collaborative post.