The Benefits of Sunglasses: More Than Looking Cool

There’s a universal truth that applies to all of humanity.  Everyone feels and looks cooler when they are wearing sunglasses. Of course, that said – not all sunglasses are created equal.  While it may seem more cost-effective to buy a cheap pair at the convenience store, you really do get what you pay for.

Dr. Juawana Hall of Hillcrest Vision views (pun intended) sunglasses to be an essential part of eye health.  “Good quality sunglasses obviously help shield the eyes from harmful sun rays. But there are quite a few health benefits that come from wearing shades.”

The aforementioned protection from the sun is always at the top of the list.  “Sunglasses should include 100% UVA and UVB protection,” said Dr. Hall.  “This level of protection protects against ultraviolet rays.  This can help reduce damage to the retina and corneas over long time exposure.”

The skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin on the body.  Because of how delicate this area of skin is, it’s more prone to damage. “Sunglasses can help protect this area of your skin from skin cancer,” said Dr. Hall.  “Of course, it’s important to wear sunblock when you’re outside, but you can only get sunblock so close to your eyes.  Wear UV protective sunglasses to protect the skin around your eyes and eyelids from the risk of skin cancer.”

Wearing sunglasses can help protect the eyes from future eye health issues including cataracts and glaucoma. “Cataracts are cloudy areas on the eye that affects vision and glaucoma is when pressure on the eye creates vision problems,” Dr. Hall continued.  “Sunglasses can greatly reduce the risk of these conditions.”

“A good pair of sunglasses can also protect the wearer from future macular degeneration,” said Dr. Hall. “The deterioration of the retina, which is what macular degeneration is, can cause vision impairment and even blindness.”

Beyond the ways sunglasses protect the wearer from potential health issues, they also protect the wearer from the elements.  “No one wants to have dust, wind, or sand in their eyes,” said Dr. Hall.  “Tiny grains of sand can actually scratch your eyes and cause damage, while wind and dust can create irritation in the eyes.”

Snow is another element from which the eyes need protection.  “Most people don’t think of snow as a reason to reach for their sunglasses. But the white of the snow reflects up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays and can burn the cornea.  Sunglasses are as important to winter-weather gear as a snowsuit!”

For those who are prone to migraines and headaches, bright sunlight can be a trigger.  Dr. Hall advises that wearing sunglasses can help reduce the frequency and intensity of these issues.

“We always recommend polarized lenses,” said Dr. Hall.  “The polarized lenses help filter out glares that may affect vision.  And as mentioned earlier, we always recommend that wearers choose sunglasses that block 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, including UVA and UVB.  Our eyewear department has a great selection of frames that can be worn as is or adjusted with a prescription, including Maui Jim, Ray Ban, Tommy Bahama, Calvin Klein, and more!”

As we enter the summer season, make sure you invest in your eye health and a good pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes and enable you to enjoy every minute of your time in the sun!

Hillcrest Vision is located at 2431 Winterhaven Lane in Winston-Salem. Call them at 760.2020, visit them online at and be sure to “like” them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram.


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