Why Sunglasses are Important for Eye Health

Why Sunglasses are Important for Eye Health

Aug 5, 2020

Ever wondered if wearing shades actually effective at protecting your eyes from sunlight damage?

According to Health Canada, “UV rays carry more energy than visible light rays, so the eye is at greater risk of damage from absorbing UV radiation than from absorbing other kinds of light.” These rays can cause or speed up the progress of several diseases that affect the eye or its supporting structures. Sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation varies from one person to the next.

Affects of UV light on your eyes

What does UV light do to your eyes?

Your eyes can become damaged when they absorb UV radiation (aka UV light). The process creates heat and a chemical reaction in the eye tissue. These reactions can cause permanent damage if the eye’s natural ability to heal itself is overwhelmed.

the Limits of Your UV Stress on Your Eyes

How can your eyes become overwhelmed by UV radiation?

If visible light is too bright or intense, or if you look directly at the sun your retina can quickly be damaged, possibly causing permanent vision impairment. There is some evidence that daily exposure to UV radiation in very bright sunlight over years may increase risk of developing cataracts.

Tips for Keeping your Peepers Safe from UV Radiation Damage

What are best practices for protecting your eyes from sunlight damage?

According to Dr. Jade, Doctor of Optometry:


'Sunglasses are a great protective measure to help maintain the youth of your eyes throughout your life.'


It’s important to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays from the sun. UV damage can create cataracts, macular degeneration, red eye, sunburns and more.

There are many great funky and fun frames available that can be made into sunglasses with you choice of custom lenses, and some that come as sunglasses. Eye Expressions Optical in Lloydminster has a nice selection in stock from Gucci, Maui Jim, Guess and many more great brands!

UV Light in Winter Season

Are there risks to your eyes from sunlight in Alberta winter season?

In winter, UV radiation directly from sunlight isn’t as obvious, as it is often cloudy. But there is still UV light, if you see bright daylight all around you. The affect is amplified when the ground is snow or ice covered, as additional sunlight is reflected from the ground to your eyes. This situation coupled with cold/dry air and or wind is known as snow blindness. An uncomfortable but temporary condition.

Keep These Things in Mind

More advice on protecting your eyes from sunlight damage

Choose proper eyewear:


Eyeglasses should fit the shape of your face well, without distorting your vision, and dark enough to keep your eye comfortable, without being so dark that your vision is impaired.


Not all sunglasses offer the same protection: The amount of UV protection provided by any particular pair of sunglasses is not determined in any way by their price, colour, or by how visibly dark in colour the lenses are. (UV light is not in the visible light spectrum)


When purchasing sunglasses, check the label and ask an eyewear specialist to ensure that your next pair are in fact rated for filtering 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

Proper UV Protection is More Than a Pair of Sunglasses

When are sunglasses not enough protection?

Sunglasses are not capable of complete protection for your eyes from high intensity light sources such as welding flashes, tanning bed lights(recommend avoiding tanning beds for various health risks) long exposure to reflection from snow covered ground on a sunny day, and of course looking directly at the sun.

For lots of great eyewear fashion options in Lloydminster, to get personalized recommendations for your next pair of sunglasses, come down and see Melinda, Kayla, Vivian and Rachel at Eye Expressions Opical. They will be super excited to see you! Drop by, or even schedule an appointment, if you wish. 

Stay happy and healthy!