Sunglasses are usually looked at as nothing more than a fashion accessory. And while there’s no doubt that they’re an integral part of your wardrobe, they also serve an important function in protecting the health of your eyes. Here are 5 often-overlooked reasons to wear a great pair of shades:

  1. UV Protection

You already know the harm that the sun’s UV rays can do to your skin – but these rays can also damage your eyes if you’re exposed to too much of them. It’s really easy to protect your eyes by wearing a pair of shades that offers UV protection, though. Look for a pair that blocks 100% of both UVB and UVA radiation – labeling should read either “UV400” or “100% UV protection.”

  1. Protection from Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, and Pterygium

All three of these conditions are more likely to occur if you expose your eyes to excessive amounts of UV radiation – and since the right pair of glasses offers great protection against ultraviolet radiation, wearing them is an easy way to minimize your risk of developing these problems.

Cataracts is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes clouded, leading to blurred vision. Macular degeneration occurs due to a particular type of retinal damage that ruins central vision. Pterygium is an overgrowth of tissue on the white part of the eye that can sometimes cause astigmatism and blurred vision.

  1. Cancer Prevention

A significant portion of skin cancers are found on the eyelids. Additionally, some cancers of the eye are associated with excessive UV exposure. But if you wear a pair of shades that offers adequate protection from UVA and UVB radiation, you can cut your risk considerably.

  1. Sunglasses Can Make You Look Younger

Aside from the fact that a hot pair of shades makes pretty much anyone feel younger on the inside, it can also make you look younger on the outside. One reason for this is that by protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, you’re also protecting the delicate skin surrounding them – this can mean fewer wrinkles and crow’s feet around your eyes as you age, leading to a more youthful appearance over time.

  1. Higher Risk Individuals Need the Extra Protection

Some people are at higher risk of complications associated with excessive UV exposure of the eyes. If you meet any of the following criteria, take extra care to protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation by wearing protective eyewear: you’ve had cataract surgery, you take medication that causes photosensitivity, or you have light-colored eyes.

Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes, Look Great, and Are Available for Every Style and Budget

Aside from all of the benefits to the health of your eyes that can come with wearing sunglasses regularly, a carefully chosen pair can really add to your look. Also, it’s easy to find a pair regardless of how much money you have to spend on them – there are literally hundreds of styles to choose from whether you’re on a very frugal budget or a high-end designer budget. A great set of shades can make you look more hip, stylish, or even mysterious (if that’s your thing!). So have fun with selecting a great pair – it’ll be well worth it in more ways than one!