“We have been sold on the idea that sunglasses help protect our eyes, but that is simply not the case,” explains Dr. Edward Kondrot, founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center. “Worse yet, often times sunglass wearing is actually harming the eye and leaving people with vision problems.”
Dr. Kondrot recommends that people only wear sunglasses if they will be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time, engaging in something like boating or desert hiking. Otherwise, he recommends that people avoid wearing sunglasses altogether, for a number of reasons, including:
· When people put dark sunglasses on, they cause the pupil to unnaturally dilate in the bright sunlight. A normal pupil will dilate in a dark environment and constrict in bright light, preventing the unwanted UV light from entering the eye. When people put dark sunglasses on, it dilates the pupil instead, allowing the UV light to enter.
· A small amount of UV light is needed to maintain eye health. Brief exposures to UV light can strengthen your eye, while a complete lack of it may lead to macular degeneration. Because we are not getting enough UV light and are becoming more sun phobic, many people are also becoming vitamin D deficient.
· Many people purchase dark sunglasses in the belief that it will keep out unwanted UV light. In truth, darkness actually has nothing to do with protecting against UV light. Sunglasses must have a UV blocker in order to block out the sun. It is also possible for completely clear lenses to filter out 100 percent of the UV light.
“If you look at children, you will see they are fine outside without sunglasses,” adds Dr. Kondrot. “Yet adults can’t go minutes without them. They have caused their eyes to become dependent on them unnecessarily. Start by going without sunglasses for an hour per day while outside. This will strengthen the eye and get you back on the track toward eye health.”