Sometimes it’s the simple things that we forget about today that can really make a difference later in life. Taking care of yourself inside and out is an ongoing process.
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.
Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere at any time and place, but certain regions have heightened radiation levels. UV rays are particularly strong near the equator, since they travel a shorter distance to reach the Earth’s surface. Cities at high altitudes also share higher UV levels because the sun’s rays can easily penetrate the thin atmosphere.
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.
About UV Protection
Make UV protection a family affair. UV damage is cumulative, occurring over a lifetime of exposure. Children receive more annual sun exposure than adults because many of their activities are outdoor-based, including school recess, sports and playtime. This increased exposure to sunlight also increases children’s exposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) light – an invisible, electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun.
Children’s eyes differ from adults’ in that children’s ocular lenses cannot filter UV light and prevent it from reaching their retinas as effectively as can adults’ ocular lenses. This results in children’s retinas being exposed to more UV light and susceptible to retinal damage if they are not adequately protected.
How to Observe National Sunglasses Day
The Vision Council encourages participation in National Sunglasses Day by practice sun-safe behavior by wearing your sunglasses throughout the year, as the sun’s UV rays are always at play. Also, post on social media channels using the official hashtags, #SunglassSelfie and #NationalSunglassesDay, and tagging @TheVisionCouncil on Facebook and Instagram and @OpticalIndustry on Twitter and make sure to crank the great Corey Hart song Sunglasses at Night.
An avid record collector, lover of all desserts and sometimes seen wearing multiple Swatch watches, Dave has been lending his voice for over 20 years heard on such prominent brands as Intel, RCA, Eddie Bauer, Kellogg‘s, Pizza Hut, Lexus, and infomercial giants Guthy-Renker and Beachbody. His narration projects include Japan’s preeminent automobile series Best Motoring International and Hot Version, along with GTChannel, QVC, Universal Music Enterprises, and ViSalus Sciences.