Image via WikipediaMany people think about sunglasses as a fashion accessory rather than protection for the eyes, and I am one of those, but lately I have been given them a thought. I tend to care about the sun’s effects on my skin, whilst neglecting the health of my eyes. Sunglasses have been around from early times. From Roman times, Emperor Nero viewed the gladiator fights through polished emerald green gems held up to his eyes. Sunglasses have been used for centuries for reasons such as hiding their expression of their eyes. Celebrities today sport their designer sunglasses and at the same time hide behind them. The history:
- 1929 Sam Foster mass-produced Foster Grants sunglasses
- 1930’s Bausch and Lomb produced sunglasses for the Army Air Corps
- 1936 Polarised sunglasses were made by Edward Land and so film stars began wearing them to look cool
- 1937 Ray Ban developed the anti-glare polarised sunglasses.
- By the 1970’s sunglasses became the film actors fashion icons
One example is Victoria Beckham who popularised the oversized hiding behind the sunglasses fashion. Uses of sunglasses:
- Polarised sunglasses reduce the glare of sunlight reflected off road surfaces, vehicles, water and snow
- Useful for outdoor sports golf, boating, cycling, fishing and so on
Sunglasses have become part of everyday life, for the celebrities they are often used to hide their eyes expressions from media intrusion or to create mystery, such as the paparazzi, other people may use them to hide their hangovers. The true reasons for wearing sun eye protection is masked by fashion. Benefits include, may protect from skin cancer in the eyelids, or prolonged exposure to the sun can result in damage to the retina and even leading to cataracts. Still there’s a time and place to wear glasses. It can be distracting if I am talking to someone who is wearing sunglasses for no apparent reason. There are medical reasons for not wearing sun shades, when someone is sensitive to artificial light.
First and foremost when I am going to buy my sunglasses they’ll be for protecting my eyes from sun rays. That is my eyes need to be comfortable from sunlight. Second, is the tint of the lenses. In very bright conditions where sunlight is reflected off surfaces then polarised lenses are more suitable. Thirdly, comfort. Finally, the shape of frame, and a general rule a frame shape that is the opposite of facial shape is nicer looking. A round face matches well with square or oval pair of frames.
Every parent knows how important it is to protect children’s delicate skin from the sun’s rays. What appears to be less known is how harmful these rays can be to young eyes. The cornea, lens and fluids are clearer in a child’s eye than in an adult’s, which allows more light to reach the retina – and that can lead to cataracts in later life. Many experts now believe that children, particularly those under 10, should always wear sunglasses in strong sunshine.