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Why Do We Need Sunglasses?

by John White |

Why Do We Need Sunglasses?

I am a pilot, so the answer for me is quite simple: operating aircraft above the earth takes us closer to the sun which in turn means the light rays reaching our eyes are stronger. A pilots eyes are one of their most important assets, so protecting them is very important.

But what about you? The truth is most of us spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly in warm weather. And the suns rays reach our eyes even when it is cloudy, hazy or even in snow conditions! 

Why do we need sunglasses? The simple answer is to protect our eyes from dangerous ultraviolet rays. Sunglasses are also important to reduce glare to a comfortable level, and to improve our night vision.

So what is ultraviolet light? Ultraviolet light (UV) is the invisible rays from sunlight that can harm your eyes, Cataract formation has been linked to UV light.

If you want to know how harmful UV light can be just take a look at things like how the paint on your house fades, how tires detriorate, etc. 


Dangers of UV & IR Rays:

Looking at the image above you can see three common eye problems that can occur due to UVA, UVB and IR (Infrared Light). 

These are:

  1. Photokeratitis, sunburn of the cornea and conjuctiva due to excessive UV exposure;
  2. Cataracts, a clouding of the eye's crystalline lens, typically progressing over time;
  3. And Macular Degeneration, a medical condition of damage to your eye's retina.

So how do we experience theses eye problems?

  1. Photokeratitis causes temporary symptoms including pain, intense tears, eyelid twitching, discomfort from bright light and constricted pupils;
  2. Cataracts decrease our vision resulting in visual impairment or even blindness;
  3. Macular Degeneration causes blurred vision and vision loss.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light:

 IR (Infrared) Light:

 Infrared light is invisible rays from the sun that are mostly made up of heat waves. IR light has no known harmful effect on human eyes other than causing discomfort and causing contact lenses to "dry out" faster.

IR light can only be stopped by glass sunglass lenses.

Why Do We Need Sunglasses?

As you can see by the infrormation above sunglasses can provide protection against UV and IR light, thus protecting our eyes from injury and/or disease.

It is also clear that choosing the right pair of sunglasses can have a significant impact on the amount of protection we get for our eyes.

Among the sunglasses we recommend here are AO Eyewear and Randolph Engineering sunglasses.

Be careful with protecting your eyes!

Why Do We Need Sunglasses?

John M. White a/k/a JetAviator7, the Aviator Sunglasses Expert

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