Casting a stylish shade isn’t the only reason to wear sunglasses. The global sunglasses market — valued at $3.1 billion in 2019 — is projected to reach $3.4 billion by 2027.
So, why has this fashion accessory become essential for so many people? Aside from emerging as a fashion trend in developing countries, sunglasses offer optimal clarity, UV protection, and chemical resistance.
Additionally, the evolution of online retailing for sunglasses is expected to continue to contribute to market growth.
Style and e-commerce aside, however, sunglasses are also vital for improving and maintaining eye health across different professions and lifestyles.
Below, we’ll look at four reasons wearing sunglasses can help eye health:
First things first — dispelling the misconception that sunglasses are solely “form over function” is the rise of prescription sunglasses.
By wearing prescription sunglasses, wearers who wear regular prescription eyeglasses don’t have to constantly switch between their glasses and shades to see the outdoors more clearly.
Prescription sunglasses perfectly intersect with sun protection, style points, and vision correction.
Most brands and retailers today allow customers to customize their shades fully, from choosing preferred frames, adding their updated prescription, and getting the lens style they want.
Iconic brand Ray-Ban even allows you to add different lens treatments, like blue-violet light filters and chromance coatings, to suit the wearers’ needs.
This way, you can get your hands on iconic frames such as wayfarer sunglasses without compromising the lens type and vision correction you might get from regular prescription glasses.
Protection From Elements
Another misconception about sunglasses is that you should only wear them on sunny days.
However, wearing sunglasses during regular daylight hours and even cloudy mornings can help protect your eyes from the elements in nature and the great outdoors.
Sunglasses are also helpful on snowy days, as snow reflects 80% of UV rays from the sun and can cause a condition known as snow blindness — corneal flash burn from the reflected sun.
When looking for a new pair of sunglasses, you can opt for polarized sunglasses that have a polarized film filtering reflected light, removing glare.
Polarized lenses are known to address eye health issues, such as eye fatigue and strain, while helping you see more clearly under reflected light.
Improved Recovery From Surgery
Another common use of sunglasses in protecting eye health is after corrective eye surgeries such as LASIK or cataract surgery.
Most eye surgery patients are instructed to wear sunglasses after the procedure to help the eyes heal.
Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from damage and ensure your eyes recover smoothly and quickly after surgery.
In rare cases, the pupils may stay dilated permanently after a procedure.
Sunglasses can help with the extra light sensitivity caused by pupil dilation and eye surgery in general.
Other aspects of after-surgery care, like ointment for treatment, can also cause blurry vision, and sunglasses can help you navigate your surroundings better.
Prevent Headaches and Migraines
Finally, addressing and protecting your eye health can also significantly preserve other aspects of your health.
A lot of eye conditions can cause other intrusive symptoms, such as headaches and migraines due to increased light sensitivity.
Photophobia, or extreme light sensitivity, is a common symptom of migraine, and the tinted lenses of sunglasses can help.
Try inquiring about FL-41 tinted or blue-blocking and red lenses when choosing sunglasses.
These have been reported to decrease light sensitivity and can be obtained without a prescription by talking with your eye doctor.
Many optical shops today offer FL-41 tint, so be sure to inquire if you think you are particularly light-sensitive.
Ultimately, sunglasses offer essential eye protection — both outdoors and indoors — and should not be dismissed as mere stylish accessories.
Investing in a pair of high-quality shades can help improve your day-to-day experience by providing adequate sun protection and helping you see more clearly.