By Ginger Dayton, Director of Health and Safety at ATI Worksite Solutions

Almost everyone loves a bright and sunny day, but on those days are we taking the necessary safety precautions to protect our eyes? Many of us know there are benefits to wearing sunglasses, but we may not pay as much attention to them as we should. Read on to learn more about the reasons why we should wear sunglasses and how to pick the best pair.

Reasons to Wear Sunglasses

Prevent Sun-Related Eye Health Issues – Sunglasses can help protect against cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, especially for individuals that are “sun sensitive.” Wide brimmed hats and baseball caps can block some of the UV rays, but optometrists say you should also wear sunglasses.

Reduce Irritation from Sand and Dust, Especially in Windy Environments – Sand and dust may do more than irritate your eyes, they may even scratch them which could lead to infection if not treated.

Comfortable Vision – The sun’s brightness and glare interferes with comfortable vision and the ability to see clearly by causing people to squint and the eyes to water.

Dark Adaptation – Spending just two or three hours in bright sunlight can hamper the eyes’ ability to adapt quickly to nighttime or indoor light levels. This can make driving at night after spending a day in the sun more hazardous.

Reduced Risk of Skin Cancer – Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes is more common than people think. People should wear sunglasses outdoors whether they are working, driving, participating in sports, taking a walk, running errands or doing anything in the sun.

Fewer Headaches and Less Eyestrain – Sunglasses will help people experience fewer headaches and migraines, and reduction in eyestrain and fatigue meaning you’ll just be more comfortable and enjoy your time outdoors even more.

What to Look for in Sunglasses

When looking for a new pair of sunglasses, think quality. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, many times the frames are the biggest portion of the cost, especially if you select designer frames. Instead, focus on the following:

Lenses that block both UVA and UVB raysSelect grey-colored lenses to reduce light intensity without altering the color of objectsLenses need to be free of distortions and imperfections – protect them from scratches by storing them in a casePolarized lenses usually reduce glare more, present a sharper image and improved color and contrasts