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Sunglasses and Your Eye Health

Sunglasses and Your Eye Health

Did you know that the first sunglasses were worn by courtiers in 14th century China? The smoke-tinted lenses were designed, not to protect eyes, but to conceal their expression! Today, we need sunglasses for an entirely different reason: excessive sun exposure can cause loss of vision, cataracts, and cancer of the eye. Sunglasses offer protection, but what kinds are best?

Most of us do not get enough unprotected sunlight: most sources agree that we need at least 20 minutes a day. But sunglasses are a must when facing prolonged exposure. On the beach or the ski slopes, or when driving, sunglasses will not only prevent glare, but will protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays.

UV rays are a part of sunlight that is an invisible form of radiation which can penetrate and change the structure of skin and eye cells.

UVB rays have shorter wavelengths and are the principle cause of sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging of the skin.

UVA rays have longer wavelengths and penetrate more deeply, contributing to skin cancer and aging.

Lightly tinted lenses block 70 percent of UVB and 20 percent of UVA.

Medium-tinted lenses block 95 percent of UVB and 60 percent of UVA.

Dark-tinted lenses block 99 percent of UVB and 60 percent of UVA.

Sunglasses that wrap around or have side pieces sides offer protection from rays creeping in around the edges.

Read more: Health, Holistic Beauty, Natural Remedies, , ,

Adapted from Debra’s Guide to Choosing Natural Sun Protection, by Debra Lynn Dadd (an e-book available here).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
5:45AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Thanks for the info.

2:25PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012


9:53AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Thank you

7:06AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

good to know

12:42AM PST on Feb 26, 2011

Thanks for the info.

12:28AM PDT on Jun 26, 2010

thanks for sharing

5:58PM PST on Jan 28, 2010


1:59PM PST on Dec 10, 2009

I wear reaction lenses all year round

11:05AM PST on Dec 10, 2009

Interesting - thanks.

9:57AM PST on Dec 10, 2009

Appreciate this article. I wear sunglasses all year long & have had some ppl comment on how that I ALWAYS have one to two pairs of sunglasses with me. [As I often take a smoke lensed & one with more opaque. Have a 12"x12"x5" drawer full of sunglasses ()like them to match outfit).]

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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