Oh. So I thought I knew all there was to know about sun exposure and eye protection. Recently, I was asked to participate in a webinar, along with other fitness bloggers, sponsored by the Vision Council. The title of the webinar was Healthy Bodies, Healthy Eyes: Protecting Vision from UV Radiation. Dr Justin Bazan, OD, talked to participants about eye protection while staying active. Dr Bazan presented some facts, which made me realize I am in pretty good company about not wearing sunglasses when I run. In fact, only 21% of Americans always wear sunglasses during fitness activities, like running and biking. Turns out I'm in the 79% who wear them "sometimes".
|I wear wrap around glasses when I bike. These are my glasses from Smith optics. I have the rose colored lenses in for the overcast day.|
|These are the wrap around Optic Nerve glasses I received from the Vision Council. I'm wearing them with the reflective lenses.|
Each pair of my sport sunglasses includes a clear lens. Common sense would tell you that the clear lenses don't offer any UV protection, and that the darker pair have the most UV protection, but that isn't the case. All three lenses offer the same amount of UV protection, regardless of the tint. Who knew? Dr Bazan told us that dark lenses don't offer any more UV protection than the clear lenses, and they may even make you lose contrast in low light conditions. Nothing like tripping over a crack in the sidewalk or something, right?
|I wear mirrored lenses on the water, to decrease reflection. Plus I love this aviator frame.|
Why should athletes wear sunglasses? Dr Bazan encouraged us to think of sunglasses as "sunblock for the eyes". You can literally sunburn your eyeballs. The medical term is "photokeratitis", and it can be quite painful. Long term damage from UV exposure includes premature aging of the skin around the eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancer. You can also develop a pterygium in your eye (and it's a gnarly as it sounds), which is a growth on the surface of your eye. Ewww. There is no treatment for this.
Makes me want to wear sunglasses at night!
June 27 is National Sunglasses Day! The Vision Council wants to encourage everyone to increase awareness of eye issues related to UV damage. They are hoping everyone will post a selfie on social media with the hastag #sunglassselfie .
I was asked by the Vision Council to participate in this webinar in exchange for a blog post. I did receive a swag bag with sunglasses, as well as a cooling towel and other accessories, as a gift from the Vision Council.
|My swag bag included all these goodies!|
Do you wear sunglasses when you workout? Do you have different types of sunglasses for your activities?