Throw Shade, Not Resting Squint Face on National Sunglasses Day

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MyEyeDr. shares commonly overheard phrases on squinting, importance of wearing sunglasses

Vienna, Va. (June 4, 2018) – While the majority of American adults report spending time outdoors most often during peak sunlight, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m., 27 percent admit they don’t typically wear sunglasses when they are outside. Sunglasses play a key role in protecting eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause an array of symptoms.

According to The Vision Council, an independent authority in the optical industry, the most common symptoms American adults experience due to sun exposure include: irritation in the eye (15.5 percent), trouble seeing (13.5 percent), wrinkles around the eye (8.3 percent), red or swollen eyes (2.5 percent) and cancer on or around the eye (0.6 percent).

Sunglasses also play an important role in maintaining one’s image, decreasing the chances of suffering from a case of resting squint face. MyEyeDr. coined the term to refer to individuals who squint through various life situations due to insufficient vision correction as well as recognizing the direct impact of failing to wear sunglasses outside during daylight hours. 

In recognition of National Sunglasses Day on June 27, MyEyeDr. shares some commonly acknowledged  misconceptions which could in turn pose risks for vision health.

“It’s cloudy today, I’ll be fine just squinting.”

UV rays are just as dangerous on cloudy days as they are on clear days. Just like skin, eyes can accumulate harmful UV radiation on overcast days. If spending time outside is in the forecast, it’s important to ensure eyes are protected. Avoid RSF with a fun wraparound style to shield the whole eye and the skin around them.

“It’s summer, time to break out the sunglasses.”

Similar to cloudy days, UV risks exist even in cold weather. The sun is present year-round, which means UV rays are a constant regardless of the temperature. UV rays can’t be seen, but their long-term effects are extremely damaging to the eyes. While we celebrate National Sunglasses Day in June, it’s important to sport the shades all year round. And, for summer days spent lounging by the pool, cruising on a boat or laying on the beach, consider special polarized lenses to reduce glare from the water’s reflection in intense sunlight.

“All sunglasses protect your eyes.”

Despite the health risks of UV exposure, not all sunglasses have quality UV protection. Since UV protection is crucial to shielding eyes from damaging radiation, it is imperative to look for a label, sticker or tag indicating UV protection before purchasing a pair of sunglasses and purchase from a reputable provider.

“As long as sunglasses have dark lenses, they’ll work.”

UV protection has nothing to do with the color of the lens. Wearing sunglasses with dark lenses and inadequate UV protection can actually be worse than wearing no sunglasses at all. Because darker lenses cause the eye’s pupil to dilate, eyes are more exposed to unfiltered UV.

“I only wear sunglasses when I drive.”

While only 68.6 percent of American adults report wearing sunglasses while driving, it is important to sport the suns during any exposure to natural light, including when casually spending time outdoors, relaxing near a body of water, watching a sporting event or participating in an outdoor activity. If you require vision correction, prescription sunglasses offer a great choice to ensure you are seeing clearly and protecting eyes from harmful UV rays.

“Many don’t realize vision loss is the number two health concern in the US, behind only cancer,” said Dr. Artis Beatty, chief medical officer at MyEyeDr. “Incorporating sunglasses into your everyday routine is a simple way to prevent short-term damage, including sunburn of your eyes, and more serious vision issues from prolonged exposure, including cataracts and macular degeneration.”

Choosing the right sunglasses is critical for protection against the sun’s harmful rays, especially in locations that receive high amounts of UV radiation. While many types of sunglasses boast UV protection, there are a couple of key ingredients that a patient should look for:

  1. Proper UV filter
  2. Polarized lens treatments
  3. Backside anti-glare coatings to protect from harmful sun glare.

For the best protection, schedule your annual eye exam to ensure your vision health is up to date and consult with your trusted optometrist to ensure you are properly protecting eyes from the sun. Most Americans have vision insurance, typically covering an annual eye exam. Your MyEyeDr. optometrist can help make recommendations regarding sunglasses personalized to an individual’s lifestyle needs and unique vision.