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Looking cool is just one of many excellent reasons to wear sunglasses.

You slather on SPF 50 to shield your skin from the sun. But what about your naked eyes? In a 2012 survey, less than half of 10,000 Americans polled recognized the health benefits of sunglasses, and 27 percent of respondents reported never wearing them. Yet this simple and stylish accessory* can protect your eyes from a host of conditions caused by ultraviolet rays:

1. Skin Cancer
Up to 10 percent of all skin cancers are found on the eyelid.

2. Cataracts
The World Health Organization reports that, worldwide, approximately 900,000 people are blind because of cataracts—cloudiness in the lens of the eye—triggered by UV exposure.

3. Macular Degeneration
Over time UV light may play a role in damaging the macula lutea (an area of the eye with millions of light-sensing cells, which allow us to see fine details clearly), potentially leading to blurriness and vision loss.

4. Pterygium
This abnormal growth of tissue—also called surfer’s eye—may progress slowly from either corner across the white part of the eye, possibly leading to inflammation or disturbance of vision.

5. Photokeratitis
Essentially a sunburn of the eye, it’s temporary (healing within 48 hours) but can be painful, causing blurred vision, light sensitivity, and the sensation of having sand in your eye.

*Just not the $5 pair for sale on the corner. Those can do you more harm than good. Our pupils dilate behind dark lenses, meaning cheap shades will actually let more damaging rays into your eyes than if you weren’t wearing any sunglasses at all. Shop for a pair that’s designed to block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light.

When it comes to sunglasses, we all know that there are many benefits to wearing them, especially since they protect our eyes from damaging radiation and ultra violet rays. We may not notice, however, that there are many other benefits to wearing shades outside.

Think you know why sunglasses are great for your eyesight? Check out some of the added benefits that you may not know about!

Sunglasses Decrease Dry-Eye Problems – Many people suffer from dry-eye syndrome mostly because of environmental factors. Windy environments, especially those that occur in dry climates, can easily dry out both the skin and the eyes, causing dry-eye syndrome. Sunglasses help protect against dry-eye syndrome by blocking the wind and dust that could gain access to your eyes. This can help prevent you from experiencing the symptoms of dry-eye syndrome, especially if said sunglasses are of a wrap-around style.

Glare is Reduced with Sunglasses – Sunglasses are awesome when it comes to reducing the sun’s garish glare. Why is that important? It allows for proper vision when you’re taking part in a high-risk task such as driving. If you wear sunglasses when you drive instead of squinting through the sunlight, you will cut down a huge amount of risks to your life and the lives of others. Keep in mind that more than 100 people die each year due to drivers who couldn’t see because of glare.

You’ll Experience Less Squinting and Eye Strain – Do you find yourself constantly squinting and straining to see? Did you know that squinting is not only detrimental to your eyesight but that it can also lead to wrinkles around your eyes earlier in life? When you wear sunglasses, you will decrease the amount of squinting you will do, which will allow you to see more clearly and will help your eyes to feel less tired.

Your Eyes Will Be Safe From Debris – Protective glasses and goggles are worn in several professions. Why shouldn’t you wear sunglasses on your adventures outdoors? They will aid in protecting your eyes from any harmful debris that could be flying around. Remember, injuries to your body can heal over time, but sometimes, physical damage to the eyes may never heal!

Sunglasses Can Help You Look and Feel Good – Sunglasses tend to be associated with some degree of “coolness” or Hollywood celebrities. They tend to suggest that you’re confident about who you are. And of course, sunglasses can really help pull together any sort of outfit or style that you’re aiming for!

Need sunglasses? Ready to show your eyes some love? Shop D•CURVE Optics sunglasses now.   

Many of us think of sunglasses as a fashion accessory.  It’s hard to imagine Jackie O. or Jack Nicholson without their signature shades.  But, all sunglasses are not created equal, and when choosing your next pair it’s important to remember that their primary function is to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.  Here’s the scoop on UV radiation and protection.

7 Things to Know About UV Protection

1. UV, or ultraviolet radiation, is part of the invisible light spectrum that falls between 100 and 400 nanometers (nm).  UV is divided into three ranges: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C, the range below 280 nanometers, which is not considered a threat because most of it is filtered by the earth’s protective ozone layer (although air pollutants are degrading the ozone, thus increasing UV exposure).  Prolonged exposure to the higher-ranged UV-A and B rays, however, can cause significant eye damage, ranging from temporary discomfort to long-term vision problems such as cataracts.  All D•CURVE Optics sunglasses offer 100% protection against UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C rays.

2. UV radiation is most intense between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and is stronger at high altitudes and closer to the equator.

3. The reflective qualities of snow, sand and water amplify the effects of UV radiation, harming unprotected eyes in less time. Thus, it’s especially important to wear sunglasses while skiing, boating, or while hanging out on the beach or in the desert.

4. While clouds block solar brightness, they can still allow up to 80 percent of UV light to reach your eyes and skin.  So, don’t forget your shades on those cloudy days.  Protecting your eyes with D•CURVE Optics sunglasses will keep you smiling on a cloudy day.

5. Dark lenses that don’t block UV light can actually cause more damage than wearing none at all because they dilate your pupil, allowing more light in, without blocking the damaging rays.

6. In addition to UV-blocking shades, wear a brimmed hat.  Fifty percent of sunlight comes from directly overhead and can reach your eyes over the top of your sunglasses.

7. Babies and young children have more translucent corneas and lenses, and thus are particularly susceptible to UV damage.  Protect them with hats and sunglasses.

How much UV protection is enough?

Sunglasses and/or sunglasses packaging should carry an American National Standards Institute label telling how much UV light they block.  For optimum protection, look for lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays.  (Some labels say “UV absorption up to 400 nanometers”, which means the same thing.) If the sticker on the sunglasses doesn’t make either claim, or is worded vaguely (“Reduces UV exposure”), keep looking. 

All D•CURVE Optics sunglasses offer 100% protection against UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C rays.