Sunglasses – An all season accessory

Usually thought of as just a fashion accessory during the summer time, sunglasses are a lot more than that.  It’s a common misconception to think that they should be used only during the summer, when in fact it’s necessary to use them all year around. Read on to know why.

Even though we don’t seem to notice the sun during the winter, the harmful UV rays emitted from the sun are still there. It has been known that these UV rays can be even more harmful in winter than the summer. Almost 85% of UV rays are reflected from flat surfaces such as snow-laden grounds or wet streets, to our eyes. Not only do these UV rays cause premature aging of the skin because of sunburns, but also lead to wrinkles  and something commonly known as crow’s feet, due to excessive squinting. Most people don’t know that excess exposure can also lead to your eyes and eyelids getting sunburned especially in people who enjoy the outdoors. This can lead to phenomena called snow blindness, which damage the cornea because of the formation of tiny blisters in people who enjoy adventurous sports such as snowmobiling.

The WHO or World Health Organization reports state that at certain times of the day, exposure to UV rays is maximum, especially in the afternoons which can lead to various skin disorders as well as skin cancer and also damage the eyes leading to a cataract. It can also damage the macula, a vital part of the retina which is essential for good vision.

Experts say that greater protection is offered to the eyes as well as the skin when the sunglasses are large in size, as they protect not just your eyes but also the skin around your cheekbones. Certain sunglasses are the wrap-around types which, as the name suggests wrap around your eyes, thus covering skin around your eyes and cheeks as well. The web is a great place to research the kind of sunglasses one can buy. A good option is to go for Polarized sunglasses which don’t exactly block the harmful UV rays , but at least reduce the glare significantly.  This would mean no more squinting or irritation.  Even though polarized lenses are available in a variety of colors, it’s best to choose those that are brown, grey or green in color as these are known to offer better protection.

It’s even more important that we teach our kids to take similar precautions. As they are young their eyes are even more sensitive to damage caused by exposure to the sun. They should be taught to regularly use sunglasses right from the beginning, or else the damage might accumulate over the years.

Of course, like most things, this too has a great upside. You can now have an excuse to splurge on sunglasses all year round as not only are they a fantastic accessory, but also great for your health.

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