The importance of wearing sunglasses

By Pierre Kayham

Sunglasses offer protection from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays and that is one offer you unquestionably want to accept. The eyes are the windows to the world, and these complex yet fragile body parts need all of the protection they can get. You can't see them, but damaging ultraviolet rays are always present, even when the sun isn't shining. Shades that block these rays can help in keeping the eyes healthy.

Who should wear shades? Any person who would like to limit the eye's exposure to this kind of damage. It's true that clouds block most ultraviolet rays from reaching the ground, so it isn't as vital to wear eye protection when the sun's not shining. But when it is, better get into the habit.

Age should not be a factor either, implying children's eyes are just as susceptible to these hidden risks. And when you think about that they often spend more of their time outside, eye protection for children is an absolute must.

How much is sufficient? The shades you select should have lenses that block at least 99% of the ultraviolet light. There'll be a sticker on the lens or a tag attached to the frame that advises how much UV protection each pair provide so be sure to read it. If you'd don't see a sticker or tag, choose a different pair.

And if you're worried about being fashionable, find something else to stress about. With thousands of fashions of shades to choose from, you're sure to be something usable for everyone in the family. Wire frames or plastic, rectangular-shaped lenses or heart-shaped, without or with monograms, rhinestones, or other outstanding brand, the options are endless.

And because it's so important to keep ultraviolet rays away from eyes, even people who wear glasses have options. Prescription sunglasses (French: lunette) are available through an optician in a large range of costs and styles.

Next time you believe it's no major deal, remember that over the passage of time extravagant exposure to UV rays can cause the beginning of eye conditions including retina damage and even cataracts. So do your eyes a favour - eat your carrots and be sure to carry your sunglasses with you at all times!

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