The importance of sunglasses, particularly for younger generations
Apart from being a fashion statement, sunglasses provide a wide range of health benefits to the eyes, particularly protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays in the same way that sunscreen protects our skin. UV light is harmful to the eyes, and can dangerously affect the cornea, lens, retina and the eyelids.
Jacqueline Gattegno, a leading Smart Vision Optometrist at Eyes InDesign Bondi, explains the importance of sunglasses, with a specific focus on the importance of using them from a young age. “Regardless of whether it is winter or summer, cloudy or sunny, the naked eyes are always being exposed to Ultra Violet (UV) rays,” says Jacquie.
It is estimated that more than 50% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV is received before the age of 18. Children are more susceptible to UV damage because they spend more time outdoors. As the effects of UV exposure are cumulative, it is crucial that good eye-wear protection habits start early in life.
People should prioritise the use of sunglasses, especially in Australia and when travelling in areas with bright light and excessive sun exposure. Additionally, eye protection is important when in or on the water as reflective light from the water can be dangerous to the eyes. “Other weather conditions like snow also reflect sunlight and wearing sunglasses in these conditions is important,” says Jacquie. “Neglecting to wear sunglasses in visually harsh conditions can make the eyes susceptible to corneal burns as a result of excessive UV exposure,” Jacquie adds.
The importance of protecting the outer aspects of the eye is equally as important as the inner parts. “Eyelid skin is the thinnest skin on the human body, posing more of a risk of sunlight damage. Wearing sunglasses helps to protect delicate skin from both UV exposure, as well as from unwanted ageing,” says Jacquie.
Severe eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts have a much lower chance of impacting eye health with the use of both polarised and tinted sunglasses. As an additional measure, individuals are encouraged to visit their nearest Smart Vision Optometrist for their annual comprehensive vision skills assessment to check up on their current eye and vision health.
When selecting a pair of sunglasses, there are some considerations to make. “Today’s advanced technologies offer superior protection, including polarised sunglasses to reduce glare and visual discomfort. The convenience of prescription sunglasses and sports eye-wear is completely practical,” says Jacquie. All eye-wear is subjective to the wearers’ own preferences, but that’s where Smart Vision Optometry’s optical dispensers help. “Selecting the right frame for your face in terms of size, colour and weight is important. Eye-wear is a fashion item and selecting the right eye-wear for your lifestyle is as important as any other fashion accessory, and the optical dispensers will help find and fit a pair that’s just right,” says Jacquie.
“These days people buy eye-wear to suit the occasion, and we regularly help customers and patients choose and fit eye-wear for weddings, boating, car and horse racing events,” adds Jacquie.
Smart Vision Optometry clinics stock a range of boutique quality eye -wear designed with style and lifestyle in mind. Properly fitted to suit all face shapes and sizes, while offering maximised protection for both adults and children.
Smart Vision Optometry clinics are located in multiple suburbs in Sydney. Book a Smart Vision Comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment or Advanced Eye Health Test for any child or adult by calling the Mosman clinic (02) 9969 1600 or the Bondi clinic (02) 9365 5047, book an appointment online.
Written and syndicated by YDMA News.