By Becky Gaunt
Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory; they are an essential part of a wardrobe. In addition to jazzing up an outfit, they provide important health benefits as long as you select the right ones. There is no need to spend large sums of money, provided the label states that they block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light. Glasses labeled UV 400 also meet these criteria. The good news is that sunglasses are available in countless styles, sizes, and colors to coordinate with any face shape or outfit, and some styles have added benefits to protecting your health. Children should also wear sunglasses as sun damage accumulates over the course of a lifetime.
1) Prevent Eye Disease
Many eye diseases can be brought on or exacerbated by exposure to the sun’s UV rays. The National Eye Institute published a study in 2014 linking oxidative stress to the sun. The rays cause glycation, which damages the lens proteins and can be a factor in the formation of cloudy spots on the eye called cataracts. Unprotected exposure to UV light also contributes to glaucoma, an eye disease in which fluid builds in the eye and damages the optic nerve. Impaired vision and blindness can occur when the macula degenerates in a disease called macular degeneration. This can be accelerated by sun exposure. Pinguecula and pterygium, also called Surfer’s Eye, cause treatable growths on the eye. Sunglasses help prevent them as they are frequently triggered by the sun, dust, and wind.
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