Okay, the main goal here is to be able to get outdoors and not worry about eye damage from the sun’s rays.
To accomplish this when outside, whether it be work, relaxing or play, we will need to seriously think about getting sunglasses with maximum UV protection.
Also, we will touch base on protection from some elements that nature may present to us. Let’s face it, sometimes we purposely throw ourselves into some pretty harsh conditions for the eyes, just for fun.
I just wanted to bring up a couple of issues from unprotected sun exposure that I haven’t talked about yet.
Headaches and Migraines. If you are prone to these health issues, eye protection is definitely advantageous. The constant strain on the eyes when exposed can increase the chances of headaches and migraines. Those of you that suffer from these conditions can attest that at times, even the slightest exposure to the sun, can be uncomfortable, or even downright painful.
Another quick thought is that unprotected exposure over time will eventually lead to premature aging such as wrinkles from the constant squinting in overly bright conditions.
Some are so used to being out in the sun without protection that they don’t even notice anymore that they are in fact, squinting and putting strain on the eyes, causing these side effects.
Putting Yourself Out There
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are those who regularly put themselves out there in the harshest of conditions just for the pursuit of happiness. And then there are those that end up in bad conditions either by accident or it just can not be avoided.
These conditions can be a lot of things. Perhaps it might be something to do with being in the snow. Maybe in or on the water. In these two cases you are getting exposed to even more because of the light bouncing off of the snow, ice or water.
The elements might be a factor in your decision-making. Nature can be just as rough as it is beautiful. Some considerations may include such things as, dirt, smoke, ash, wind, smog, blowing debris, etc. Other things you might be asking yourself could be, can I use them with a helmet, should I wear a strap to keep them from falling off, maybe I need them more aerodynamic, will I be taking them off and on often, etc.
This list can go on forever. It’s all about who you are and what your habits and interests are. For whatever your needs are in the great outdoors, or in some cases, the great unknown, there is always a suitable solution.
Don’t worry you don’t have to look like your climbing Mount Everest, unless you actually are climbing Mount Everest! Oh, that reminds me. Altitude is a factor when it comes to being in the sun. In short, the higher the altitude, the closer you are to the sun and the more intense the exposure.
Be sure to keep in mind that no matter what the weather conditions are, those damaging rays are still coming through. It’s up to you to stop them.
Don’t Leave Our Youth Behind
This title may be a bit deceiving.
This time, I’m not referring to ourselves. I am talking about children. From toddlers and even through teen years, eye protection is often overlooked. The same steps that we take for our own safety, should be taken for the younger ages.
People know for the most part to protect infants from the elements. Often you are hard-pressed to get a look at a baby who is outside, because of the layers and great lengths that parents and caretakers take to insure they are shielded from the elements. Many times it seems that once they are older and moving about on their own, the same considerations go out the window.
Keep in mind when it comes to our youth, that they either, knowingly or unknowingly look to adults to protect them. Even in their teens, I think that the young and soon to be adults, should be aware and given the facts about protecting their vision.
Get the Best Protection
Before we go any further, by now you should be convinced that the suns UV rays are the main enemy. You may ask “How much protection do I need?” The answer is easy. You want your sunglasses to block 100 % of the suns UV rays. This should be the single most important thing to look for when buying eye wear for outdoor use.
Be sure of what you are buying. Look for the UV blocking percentage before you buy. Some glasses may just advertise that they block UV rays. But, unless they say 100%, who knows how much? Most reputable sunglass brands do block all the UV rays.
Bottom line is easy, just be aware of what you are buying. Obviously, the ones that do carry that much protection are going make sure that you are aware it, in their packaging or advertising.
Once that criteria is checked off, then we can get into the fun stuff.
Finally, Some Fun
Honestly, we are going to have some fun. After establishing the proper UV rating (which is what?) then we can move onto what are you going to be doing outside. There can be endless answers to this. And there can be just as many solutions to the best style of sunglasses you will be using.
Now you can start playing with what kind of sunglasses do you like. Do you need polarized lenses, and for that matter, what does polarized actually mean? Can you find prescription sunglasses, or what can you do when you need your regular eyeglasses? What kind of activities are you going to be doing, even if that just means lounging around, etc. The list goes on.
We will be exploring some of what seems like endless options.
Time to Get Creative
I’m pretty sure by now that it is safe to say that, “The minimum eye protection you want is also the maximum protection you can get”. I had to re-read that to see if it made sense. Using that as our foundation, we’ll start building on it. It’s time to start looking at your needs.