So……I’ll admit…..sunglasses are ALL about fashion for me.
RARELY do I think about eye health. My vision is already so poor that I never even consider it could get worse. And I only really wear my sunglasses when I drive. Or when I’m on a beach in Puerto Rico sitting in on the deck taking selfies. I’m not much of an outdoor person (which probably contributes to my continious vitamin D deficiency) and I do fitness activities that do NOT require me to bake in the sun. But every now and then….
Like this Zumba I taught outside a couple of weeks ago and this yoga on the roof class I’m getting ready to take in Denver in about an hour…yeah, I could have used something over my eyes. And I left my sunglasses in my car (not too smart) at home so while I was out walking miles the other day in search of food, I had NOTHING to protect my eyes and they are already bloodshot red from the altitude.
It’s time to think differently.
I was invited to be a part of a teleconference hosted by the Vision Council. Not only did they gift me with sown pretty cool items (including these O’Neill sunglasses) but they dropped some interesting knowledge my way which made me think twice about protecting my eyes.
According to the 2015 UV Protection Report by the Vision Council:
- 1 in 4 Americans rarely or never wear sunglasses leaving their eyes at risk.
- 2 in 3 Americans leave eyes unguarded on cloudy or rainy days
- 3 in 10 Americans don’t protect their eyes in the winter, when UV rays are still present.
I’m guilty of all of that. And for those of us that do fitness type activities outside, how many of us are wearing our shades?
Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
The Vision Council states running and biking and team sports are when we least often wear our shades.
According to this same report, the dangers of unprotected UV exposure are underrecognized. I agree. I had no idea before this call:
- sunburned eyes (58% of people don’t identify the connection)
- Cataracts (65% don’t identify the connection)
- Age-related macular degeneration (65% don’t identify the connection)
My son and I already in bifocals. And I’m thinking how my children (the report states that children generally receive THREE TIMES the annual sun exposure as adults) NEVER wear shades. When they did, they were much younger in age and they were some shades I grabbed from the Dollar Store to keep them quiet.
I’m encouraging US to take this seriously. I thank the Vision Council for reaching out to me and allowing me to learn more about vision health. Check out their website, throw on your shades and celebrate #NationalSunglassesDay today with more awareness.