But even if you have hearty eyes that don't get all squinty when faced with the merest glimmer of sunlight, you should still be wearing sunglasses every day—just like sunscreen. "It's important to wear sunglasses all year round, as UV can damage your eyes even on cloudy days! Wearing sunglasses when you're outside will reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration," Anita Misty, Waldo's in-house optician, says. "The most common short-term impact of UV exposure to the eye is acute photo keratopathy, which is essentially sunburn of the eye. Sunglasses also protect the eyelids too, hence the importance." A sunburn? On your eyeballs? This is something that absolutely makes sense but I have never thought about before this very moment. Wild.
UV exposure can also cause something called pterygium, which sounds like a dinosaur but is actually a growth on the whites of your eyes. If those get worse, Misty says, they become pinguecula, which is essentially a growth that encroaches on your cornea. Don't Google image search that unless you want to be freaked out. On a related note, I have spent the last 20 minutes studying my eyeballs to see if I have pterygium.
"Wearing sunglasses will help minimize your risk of experiencing serious eye conditions such as cataracts, but only if they sufficiently protect against UV radiation," Misty explains. "Look for glasses that block 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, or offer UV absorption up to 400nm." She adds that all sunglasses purchased from a reliable stockist should have a UV filter, but it's important to always check the label. Oh, and interesting fact: "darkness of a lenses’ tint does not impact how much protection from UV they give," she explains.
These 10 pairs of sunglasses are both stylish and good for your eyes, which is what I think is colloquially known as a win-win.
Cute sunglasses that will also protect your eyes
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