Today is National Sunglasses Day, and I’m teaming up with The Vision Council to help bring attention to the importance of UV eye protection. So let’s talk about your sunglasses: fashion statement, fun accessory, the perfect accent to a fun summer outfit. The saviors of your eyesight, and not enough of us are wearing them. Worse we’re not making sure our children wear them. Children receive THREE TIMES the annual sun exposure of adults and are especially vulnerable to sun damage because their eyes cannot filter out UV rays as easily as adult eyes can, allowing those harmful rays to reach the retina.
The Vision Council’s 2014 Sun Protection Survey found that 27 percent of adults rarely or never wear sunglasses when outside. 46 percent said they only wear sunglasses when it’s sunny outside – leaving their eyes vulnerable to strong UV rays on cloudy or partially cloudy days. In 2013 The Vision Council found that only 48% of parents enforce sunglass use among their children. That’s less than half of us!
Do you wear sunglasses? Does your child? Jack and I do!
Everyone knows that leaving your skin unprotected leads to sunburn which leads to skin cancer. Did you know that leaving your eyes unprotected can also lead to cancer? All those years of cumulative exposure can cause cancer of the eye or eyelid and can accelerate cataracts, which affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older. Even just one full day outside without protection can cause immediate, temporary issues like swollen or red eyes and hypersensitivity to light.
The solution is as simple as putting on a pair of sunglasses or other UV-protective eyewear. My contact lenses are UV blocking! I’ve already lost enough of my eyesight, I’m not putting myself at further risk. As for my son, Jack, he has three pairs of sunglasses in rotation. Not because he’s a fashionista, but because options make him feel in control and thus more likely to wear them. He has an orange pair (his favorite color) and the other two pairs are popular kid’s characters. I leave them on our entryway table right by the front door and as we are leaving I ask him which pair does he feel like wearing today. I started putting sunglasses on him as an infant so it’s been a habit for him almost from birth.
If you’d like to read the rest of the Vision Council’s 2014 Sun Protection Survey you’ll find it here. At the end of this post you’ll find a large infographic they prepared to highlight the most interesting findings of the survey and the repercussions of not protecting your eyes. You might like to print it out and share it with your family, friends or coworkers.
In the meantime, take a selfie in YOUR sunglasses and share it on social media with the hashtags #NationalSunglassesDay or #SunglassSelfie to spread the word! Tweet to @opticalindustry or share on their Facebook wall https://www.facebook.com/thevisioncouncil
Disclaimer: I received a gift bag including the beautiful TRUE Trussardi sunglasses I am wearing above from the Vision Council as thanks for participating in this campaign. No other compensation was received.