Every day millions of Americans make the conscious decision to not wear sunglasses or other ultraviolet (UV) protective eyewear. While seemingly harmless, this habit carries serious vision risks, many of which are not known or understood by those who fail to wear protective frames.
UV radiation is often recognized as the culprit for sunburns and skin cancer, but most people don’t realize the damaging impact the wavelengths inflict on their vision. The problem originates with the sun’s unfiltered UV rays. Just as these rays can burn skin cells, they can also harm unprotected eyes. A full day outside without protection can cause immediate, temporary issues, such as swollen or red eyes, and hypersensitivity to light. Years of cumulative exposure can cause cancer of the eye or eyelid, and accelerate conditions like cataracts and age-regulated macular degeneration.
National Sunglasses Day serves as a reminder that sunglasses are a major health necessity – regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy, warm or cold – and spread the word that sunglasses and other UV-protective eyewear are key to protecting long-term eye health.
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