Reaching for your sunglasses before heading out on a bright, sunny day is an instinct. Squinting eyes and pounding headaches aren't the only problems you'll encounter if you leave your sunglasses home. Excessive exposure to the sun without proper eye protection can cause permanent eye damage over time. Cataract and macular degeneration are the major cause of vision loss among the elderly and result from excessive exposure to UV rays.
So as long as you have your trusty sunglasses on, are you completely protected? Can you look Sun in the eyes and feel the power? No. Don't look directly into the sun even with sunglasses. So what do sunglasses protect you against, and what do they don’t? Keep reading to learn more.
Is It Safe To Look At The Sun?
Staring at the sun, even for a few seconds is nearly impossible with the naked eye, which is why most of us wouldn’t do it even if we wanted to. However, it can become easier to do if you have sunglasses on, or during a solar eclipse. Do these conditions make it safe to look into the sun? NO.
What Happens If You Stare At The Sun?
When the UV light enters your eye, the lens in your eye focuses it at the retina. These UV rays form free radicals upon absorption by the retina. The free radicals oxidize the tissues surrounding it, destroying your photoreceptors. The condition is called photic retinopathy and can occur within seconds of staring directly into the sun.
What Kind of Eye Protection Can You Look at the Sun With?
Even the 100% UV protection sunglasses aren’t capable of protecting your eyes from the damage of staring directly into the sun.
If you want to see a solar eclipse, American Astronomical Society lists a number of approved eye protections you can use.
Protecting Yourself From UV Rays
Sunglasses may not protect you from the direct sun, but it’s an essential part of your daytime outfit, especially if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. UV protection sunglasses, like the latest Polarized unisex sunglasses Aviators Hunter, block out the harmful UVA and UVB rays to ensure your visual health.
Protecting Yourself From Sun’s Reflections
Other than UV protection, you also need protection from the sun's reflections. That blinding glare in your eyes from water or snow on hot, sunny days can be catered with polarized sunglasses. While looking directly at the sun might still not a great idea, it's entirely safe to view its reflections through a polarized lens.
Sunlight reflecting off smooth surfaces like metal and water take a uniform route, usually in the horizontal direction. Polarized sunglasses, like our Unisex polarized aviator model Legacy, are embedded with vertical filters that block out all the horizontal light. By eliminating the glare, polarized sunglasses make it safer and easier to view in bright light.