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the importance of good sunglasses

When you next travel on holiday, please pack two pairs of good, bought-from-a-proper-shop sunglasses. Please pass on this pearl of wisdom. The reason? You have a good chance of losing one pair, and you do not want to have to buy them from a shop that may sell you something that will cause your eyes stress, oxidative stress.

It has been well-documented that UV radiation causes eye damage.

This article discusses the hidden dangers of cheap sunglasses and the reason why investing in a good quality pair (or two), is crucial for your eye health.

Oxidative Stress: The Silent Culprit

The intricate eye system is susceptible to natural and artificial light damage. When light enters the eye, it interacts with cells and can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS are usually harmless in small amounts and are balanced by our body’s natural antioxidants. However, when this balance is disrupted, oxidative stress occurs. This stress can cause molecular damage to the eye’s tissues, leading to conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness.

The Role of Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement but a protective barrier against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Quality sunglasses block a significant portion of UV radiation, preventing it from reaching the eye’s sensitive tissues. This is crucial because, as research indicates, exposure to UV radiation can exacerbate oxidative stress and contribute to degenerative eye diseases.

The Risks of Cheap Sunglasses

So, what’s the big deal with cheap sunglasses? The problem lies in the quality of the lenses. Substandard lenses may not provide adequate UV protection, allowing harmful rays to penetrate and cause oxidative stress. Over time, this can lead to various eye issues, from minor irritations to severe conditions like cataracts and AMD.

Nutrition and Eye Health

Interestingly, your diet can also play a role in protecting your eyes from oxidative stress. Foods rich in antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, can help maintain the balance of ROS in your eyes. So, the next time you’re packing for a sunny holiday, make a mental note to eat more fruit and veg (don’t we all!)

The Eye Area.

Just in case you need another good reason, consider the around-the-eye area where sunglasses protect. As an often overlooked area (suncream in the eyes, anyone!), the delicate skin around the eyes needs protection too. We know that the sun causes premature ageing, and sunglasses can be another weapon in your anti-ageing fight. (We don’t mean those tiny things some people seem to wear!)

Just Don’t Do It!

The eyes are one of our most vital sensory organs and deserve the best care we can provide. While it might be tempting to opt for cheaper eyewear, the next time you consider buying from that guy on the beach, remember this article and go find a proper chemist. All sunglasses should state they have 100% UVA and UVB protection, but of course, anyone can stick on a  label. 

The risks involved make it a really bad idea.


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