How much time do you estimate you spend outdoors? Whether it’s walking the dog, taking nature hikes, running errands, commuting to and from work, grilling on your deck, playing at the park with the kids and let’s not forget the family vacation…the list goes on and on.
I just had the pleasure of chatting with fashion journalist and TV contributor, Zanna Roberts Rassi who went over some of the facts about UV exposure and gave me some info on the upcoming National Sunglass Day.
Hear & Watch our phone chat here :
According to a survey by The Vision Council, following prolonged UV exposure American adults report experiencing symptoms including: trouble seeing, irritation in the eye, wrinkles around the eyes, and even cancer on or around the eye. Whether wrap-arounds, rimless or studded with rhinestones, sunglasses are vital for shielding eyes from harmful UV rays and diminishing glare that can cause distractions while driving, working, and playing. Regardless of age, sunglasses should be worn outdoors all year long, during daylight hours…after all, they’re not called “summer glasses.” UV radiation is present year-round, despite the season or weather. But the good news is there’s a variety of styles available that are equally trendy as they are protective, making sunglasses the easiest health and fashion accessories to slip on when individuals head outdoors.
Sunwear is always in season – despite the weather or time of year. But with National Sunglasses Day in a few short days – taking place on June 27th – sunwear should be even more top of mind for adults and children alike. Officially owned by The Vision Council, a nonprofit organization serving as the global voice for vision care and vision care products, National Sunglasses Day sheds light on the importance of wearing sunnies to protect the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The Vision Council is encouraging everyone to join the movement – which went viral in 2016 and 2017, becoming a nationally trending topic on social media and garnering more than 500 million and 900 million media impressions, respectively – by posting a photo of themselves wearing their favorite shades on social media, tagging @TheVisionCouncil, #NationalSunglassesDay and #SunglassSelfie.
Keep reading to find out why sunglasses are not only important health necessities, but also fashion accessories.
Summer has officially begun, and with that comes hotter temperatures and seemingly more sunshine – even though in reality, UV rays are always at play, and sunwear is key throughout all four seasons. The sun emits three kinds of ultraviolet radiation – UVA, UVB and UVC – with UVA rays causing the most damage to vision health according to the World Health Organization. In a recent survey released by The Vision Council, 28.2 percent of American adults say their no. 1 concern about UV eye exposure is vision loss – yet 27 percent report they don’t typically wear sunglasses while outside. Reported symptoms of UV exposure include: irritation of the eyes, trouble seeing, wrinkles around the eyes, red or swollen eyes, sunburn on the eyelids and of the eyes, and even cancer on or around the eyes.
“Unfortunately, UV eye damage is cumulative and irreversible,” says Dr. Justin Bazan, optometrist and medical adviser to The Vision Council. “Long-term effects of UV eye exposure can cause permanent changes to ocular tissue, resulting in common ocular conditions like pinguecula, cataracts and macular degeneration. At this point in time, there is no way to heal UV damaged parts of the eye.”
Research has shown that young eyes are especially susceptible to UV-related harm. Children generally receive about three times the annual adult dose of UV. While 56.2 percent of American adults report using sunglasses to protect their child(ren)’s eyes and the skin around their eyes from UV rays, 12.6 percent report using nothing for eye protection from the sun for their child(ren). In addition, only 5 percent of American adults report their child(ren) “always” wears sunglasses.
“Wearing sunglasses is an essential part of protecting our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether you’re 9 or 79, it’s important to make sure your sunwear has proper UV protection,” says Dr. Bazan. “Adults should schedule an annual eye exam with an eyecare provider, and parents should do the same for their children. These exams not only ensure the eyes are healthy, but also serve as an opportunity for individuals to discuss UV eye health and the best way to protect their eyes with an expert.”
If an individual is in search of an eyecare provider, Think About Your Eyes – a program to raise awareness of the importance of an annual eye exam – offers a robust doctor locator on its website.
By celebrating National Sunglasses Day, sharing the importance of UV eye protection and encouraging individuals to schedule annual eye exams, The Vision Council is determined to make a positive and widespread impact, uncovering key information people should know when purchasing sunglasses and inspiring them to wear sunglasses every time they are outdoors.
Here are common myths surrounding UV protection debunked:
- Myth: The darker the lenses, the higher the UV protection; all sunglasses offer proper protection.
- Fact: While 39.4 percent of American adults believe this to be true, it is false. Dark lenses without adequate UV protection can be worse than wearing no sunglasses at all. Darker lenses cause the eye’s pupils to dilate, resulting in increased retinal exposure to unfiltered UV rays.
- Myth: All sunglasses offer UVA/UVB protection.
- Fact: Not all sunglasses protect from UVA and UVB rays. When making a purchase, look for styles with a label, sticker or tag that confirm the lenses possess the proper protection.
- Myth: Sun exposure to the eyes is mainly a risk during spring and summer.
- Fact: UV rays are present year-round. It’s important to protect the eyes and skin properly while outside during daylight hours regardless of the season.
When purchasing sunglasses, individuals should keep the following in mind:
- Protection: Lenses that offer UVA/UVB protection should be the most important factor when purchasing sunglasses. Only 21.5 percent of American adults report the protective attributes and function of their sunglasses are a top concern when buying sunwear.
- Daily activities: People should choose sunglasses that adequately fit their lifestyle and day-to-day activities.
- Comfort: The more comfortable the sunglasses, the more likely individuals are to wear them, with 23.2 percent of American adults reporting the fit of their sunglasses was a key factor in their purchasing decision.
- Style: Sunglasses are not just a health necessity. They’re also a fashion accessory, and people should choose sunglasses to match their personal styles and wardrobes.
Here’s a run-down of what’s popular this spring and summer when it comes to sunwear:
- Retro is In: Think old-school-inspired styles – like silhouettes inspired by yesteryear, vintage design accents, antiquated hues, and colored and tinted lenses – combined with contemporary twists for updated appeal.
- Performance Wear: Taking note of the athleisure trend, performance wear is fusing fashion and function. These eyewear styles are durable enough to withstand the demands of high-impact activities, while still embracing an element of trendiness.
- Luxury Fashion: Intricate details, high-quality materials and coveted designs command attention, with looks influenced by the runways that are perfect for those looking to make a statement with their sunwear.
- Minimalism: Simple yet sleek frames with industrial accents and a cool palette create chic looks that are understated enough to complement any ensemble.