The last long weekend of the summer is here, and you may take some time to put away some of its supplies: the shorts, flip-flops, and cooler might be tucked away for the fall and winter.
But should you put away your sunglasses too?
Although sunglasses are associated with summer style – and with the obvious purpose of blocking the hot sun’s UV rays from damaging your eyes – they are highly functional all year round.
Sunglasses might be one of the most important components of eye health.
It’s almost impossible to get through a day at the beach without a good pair of sunglasses. The sun’s rays reflect off the water, which can not only make it difficult to see but can contribute to damage to your eye.
A very similar thing happens with snow. Although we are still months away from winter, it’s important to remember that UV rays reflecting off snow can be very damaging to your eyes. This is even true as you’re sitting in your car driving down the street.
As long as the sun is shining, UV rays are coming down. It doesn’t matter what time of the year or what the temperature is. You need to protect your eyes all year.
Ultraviolet rays can pose serious risks for your eyes. Long-term, or even small amounts, of UV radiation can boost the risk of cataracts or macular degeneration, two conditions that can put vision at risk and lead to blindness.
When buying sunglasses, be sure to do some research. Get a pair that blocks 100 percent of UV rays. These should be available at most retailers in a wide variety of styles.
If sunglasses aren’t your thing, don’t worry: regular eyeglass lenses can be equipped with UV protection. Talk to your eye doctor about these lenses to reduce the risks associated with UV exposure.