Looking cool is just one of many excellent reasons to wear sunglasses.
You slather on SPF 50 to shield your skin from the sun. But what about your naked eyes? In a 2012 survey, less than half of 10,000 Americans polled recognized the health benefits of sunglasses, and 27 percent of respondents reported never wearing them. Yet this simple and stylish accessory* can protect your eyes from a host of conditions caused by ultraviolet rays:
1. Skin Cancer Up to 10 percent of all skin cancers are found on the eyelid.
2. Cataracts The World Health Organization reports that, worldwide, approximately 900,000 people are blind because of cataracts—cloudiness in the lens of the eye—triggered by UV exposure.
3. Macular Degeneration Over time UV light may play a role in damaging the macula lutea (an area of the eye with millions of light-sensing cells, which allow us to see fine details clearly), potentially leading to blurriness and vision loss.
4. Pterygium This abnormal growth of tissue—also called surfer’s eye—may progress slowly from either corner across the white part of the eye, possibly leading to inflammation or disturbance of vision.
5. Photokeratitis Essentially a sunburn of the eye, it’s temporary (healing within 48 hours) but can be painful, causing blurred vision, light sensitivity, and the sensation of having sand in your eye.
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