Save Your Eyes with Sunnies

July 15, 2014

Years ago I worked as an assistant to an optometrist, a job which gave me quite an extensive knowledge of the eyeball (for the layperson anyway). One important thing I took away was that sunglasses should be worn for the sake of protecting your peepers, looking cool is just the bonus. Here, three potential eye health hazards you can avoid by wearing you sunnies every day:

1. Sunburn
The medical term is photokeratitis, but it's a sunburn nonetheless, and can be just as painful. Photokeratitis is temporary, but it can leave you with blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and discomfort (sort of like you've got something in your eye and you can't get it out) for a few days.

2. Surfer's Eye & Other Yuckiness
Pterygium, or surfer's eye, is when a noncancerous growth occurs on the sclera (the white part of the eye) and invades the cornea (the colored part of the eye). It has a cloudy, pinkish hue and can sometimes leave scar tissue on the eyeball. Another condition, called pinguecula, happens when the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the sclera, gets thick, yellowish, raised growths on it (again, benign). Both pterygium and pinguecula occur between the eyelids, where the eyeball is exposed, so they're definitely visible to others, but both can be treated.

3. Cancer
Your eyelids have skin on them, and are therefore subject to developing skin cancers. It's not the most common place, but it can and does happen.

image via


  1. Wow! I'm a little more appreciative of my sunglasses after reading this post - scary!

    1. I know! I never leave home without my shades. I make my little girls wear them too!


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