Summer has officially begun! Are there any races, outings, or outside events on your calendar?
A couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to join a group of fitness bloggers all over the world to listen in on a webinar interview with Dr. Justin Bazan, O.D.
Dr. Bazan is a Medial Advisor to The Vision Council and Owner of Park Slope Eye. It was a very informative hour that left me wondering why the heck it took me so long to make wearing sunglasses an everyday occurrence.
I keep a pair of quality shades in my car, and I always make sure to take them with me in my purse when I know I’ll be outside on sunny days. But what about the other days? What about other activities? And, do we need multiple pairs of sunglasses?
Different types of sunglasses are tailored to support different activities in your life. The most important factor when picking out a pair is to consider what you will be using them for to enhance comfort no matter the activity.
If you think about why we wear sunglasses in the first place, it’s for protection and comfort. It’s easy to grab a pair of shades while driving in the car or walking outside on the weekends, but do you ever think about wearing sunglasses while doing fitness activities like running, biking, or playing tennis or golf?
Here are some interesting facts I learned during the webinar:
• 1 in 4 Americans rarely or never wear sunglasses, leaving their eyes at risk.
• 2 in 3 Americans leave their sunglasses at home on cloudy or rainy days.
• 3 in 10 Americans forget their shades at home during the winter months, even though UV rays are still present.
So, why is UV Protection is so important?
Sunglasses are basically sunscreen for the eyes. If you are outside for a substantial amount of time, your eyes are at risk for swelling, redness, irritation, and hypersensitivity to light. You are also at risk for photokeratitis, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration, and cancer of the eye, eyelid, and surrounding skin.
The longterm effects of UV radiation can start very early on in life. The second we start making sunglasses part of our routine, the better off we will be!
More longterm effects include:
• premature aging of the skin: wrinkles, crow’s feet, sunspots
• yellowing of the natural lens in our eye
• all of the diseases mentioned above
Also, factor these statistics into your days:
• water reflects up to 100%
• snow reflects up to 85% (hello, ski goggles!)
• dry sand and concrete reflects up to 25%
• grass reflects up to 3%
Research has shown that the eye receives almost double the amount of UV radiation during peak running times. The level of UV entering the eye in the early morning (8 – 10 a.m.) is nearly double that of midday hours (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) at most times of the year.
After hearing all of these risks and being reminded of the dangers that come along with running san shades, I have been making sure to sport a pair of sunglasses on all of my walks and runs.
(Do they make doggie sunglasses too?)
In exchange for writing this post and sharing the importance of protecting your eyes from UV rays, I was sent a complimentary pair of O’Neill sunglasses from The Vision Council.
They’re extremely light and easy to move in! Now that I have them, I won’t be running without a pair anytime soon.
Just so you know, sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to have UV/UAB protection.
When searching for a pair of sunglasses, it’s important to look for a reputable brand from a reputable location with quality UV/UAB protective lenses.
Photo courtesy of The Vision Council
Also, don’t just assume that your extra dark lenses are the best shade for you. Surprisingly enough, many pairs of sunglasses with dark lenses out there don’t offer the protection. Make sure you ask the retailer selling the glasses, or look for a little sticker on the lens that indicates they have UV block!
Blue eyes and eyes that have less pigment are more at-risk. It is important for everyone to protect their eyes, but especially those with light-colored sparklers.
Look for photochromic lenses if you like to run on cloudy days! These types of lenses change colors, depending on how bright it is outside.
If you wear contact lenses, talk to your optometrist about what brands have the most protection. Some lenses have more UV protection than others, and it is all brand dependent.
If nothing else, I hope this post has encouraged you to remember to protect more than your body when you know you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time. Sunscreen and sunglasses are two things you shouldn’t be without!
In case you missed it, #NationalSunglassesDay just passed (June 27th), but you can still get in on the buzz about staying healthy with sunglasses by following the hashtag and posting your own #SunglassSelfie on your social media channels.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I did, however, receive a pair of activewear sunglasses in exchange for writing this post. I agreed to attend the webinar to be able to learn and share the importance of protecting yourself from UV rays. I hope you enjoyed the content, and, as always, all thoughts and opinions remain my own.
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
I ddi enjoy this content! I get lazy with wearing sunglasses because it means putting on contacts first, but I never regret it when I do and am trying to get better about it!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
I participated in the webinar as well and found it so informative, especially on the worst times of day for UV levels, which just so happen to be the time of day that I work out most often! Very important information that I think we should be aware of!
Right? Ha… me too. Glad there was a lot of great info to take home!
I am honestly the WORST person when it comes to sunglasses. I have never been able to comfortably wear them because
1. My eye lashes are rather long and I could feel them hitting the lenses and
2. It always felt weird to have something sitting on my noseish area
However I know how important they are and I definitely need some when driving during sunset hours!
Personally, I would really like some ray bans, especially the aviators!
I love aviators! I think finding the right pair and fit for you makes a huge difference. I’ve been loving the lighter pairs lately, and the ones featured in the post are great!
Krystal // The Krystal Diaries
I’ve been obsessed with sunglasses for years. The amount of sunglasses is a tad but ridiculous actually. Good to know I’ve been protecting my eyes from the UV rays all this time!!
Haha, better safe than sorry, right? 😉
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
I had laser eye surgery in my one eye a few years ago and ever since I am crazy about wearing sunglasses always! Thanks for the information. 🙂
Same! I had laser eye surgery 7 years ago and have had major light sensitivity ever since. I’m almost always in sunglasses roaming out and about, but I just started wearing them for running too.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I didn’t wear sunglasses one time skiing and burnt my eyes. It hurt so bad, I couldn’t open my eyes for like 2 days! I am obsessed with sunglasses now and pretty much don’t go anywhere without them!
Wow, that sounds pretty painful! Woo hoo for sunglasses!
I am still looking for a good active pair – I wear them all the time in my normal life, especially in NYC because I just don’t like the idea of city debris floating into my eyes – but for running, still haven’t found a comfy pair that stays on straight!
I’m really bad at forgetting my sunglasses.. I really should treat the more like my phone in the sense that if I’m leaving the house they should be coming with me.
I don’t think I’ve ever taken off my sunglasses since moving to California. I suppose that’s a good thing. Now I have a huge variety to choose from for different looks – love wearing them! And I definitely wear them when running too, I can’t stand squinting (I don’t want retina damage lol…or wrinkles!)
There are some people you’ll never forget. Sometimes, the old saying “I never forget a face” is true. Sometimes, it might be the name you don’t forget or perhaps their outfit. But in addition to names, faces and clothes, there are some people you will always remember for their sunglasses
If you will be spending a lot of time driving or on the water consider getting glasses with polarized lenses. They block the light reflecting from the water or the highway, reducing glare. However, polarized sunglasses don’t necessarily include UV protection, so make sure to check for both.
So you say you never forget a face? Well, I never forget a pair of sunglasses.
Donald Isaacs recently posted…Make a Contemporary Transition with CXL Still
Always wearing your sunglasses is so important to protecting your eyes! Eye damage from the sun can be prevented easily with a good pair of shades.
Sunglasses have become an important part of our daily look and lifestyle.
I agree that they offer good look and make our personality standout. Apart from that they even help in protecting our eyes from sun rays and pollution.
The styles and the post above you have shared is certainly very helpful.
In fact I bought my two pairs of eyeglasses from https://www.stevenalanoptical.com/collection/womens-eyewear/ store, recently. One of them is anti-glare.
I appreciate that you posted this article.
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Thanks for explaining to me that wearing sunglasses in summer is both for protection and comfort. I just often bring around my sunscreen for my beach trips and reading your article made me realize that it is not enough. It might be a good idea to find an eyewear shop where I can buy protective sunglasses that I can use for our next getaway.