We all know that sunglasses are the most helpful during summer days when the sun is blindingly bright, the sky is a clear blue, and there isn’t a cloud in sight. These helpful accessories keep the glare out of our eyes and allow us to see even in the harshest light, but sunny days aren’t the only time we should be wearing them. That’s right, you should be wearing sunglasses on overcast days as well! Read on to learn more about how sunglasses should be your year-round accessory.
UV rays are a form of energy that is invisible to the human eye. They are produced by multiple sources, the most common and only natural of which is the sun. The sun’s UV radiation produces vitamin D, which is essential to human health, so The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure 2 to 3 times a week. However, too much exposure to UV radiation can result in some skin cancers, painful sunburns, and premature aging. Overexposure to the sun can also result in a higher risk of eye blindness, especially if eye protection isn’t used.
There are three main types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA radiation can penetrate deep into your skin’s dermis layer, and UVB rays can reach the outer layer of your skin. Both pose a heavy threat, but UVA is more consistent throughout the year. Most UVC rays are absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, so it doesn’t pose as much of a risk as UVA or UVB rays.
But Aren’t the Sun’s Rays Blocked by the Clouds?
While clouds may block the sun from your vision and provide some much-needed shade, it doesn’t mean that the sun’s UV rays are completely gone. Quite the opposite in fact.
UV Rays can Pass Through Clouds
Just because you can’t feel the warmth of the sun on your face doesn’t mean you’re completely safe under a cover of clouds. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can slice right through the clouds. Of course, clouds can reduce the amount of UVA and UVB rays reaching earth’s surface, but they’re not something you want to rely on as your only line of defense.
Certain Clouds can Increase Radiation
UV rays are fickle and can vary widely depending on the time of day, time of year, and your latitude location. Fully cloudy days can stop 70 – 90% of UVB rays from reaching the surface, but something entirely different happens on party cloudy days. A phenomenon called the ‘broken cloud effect’ or ‘cloud enhancement’ occurs, resulting in higher UV levels than a cloudless day. Studies have shown that partially cloudy skies raise surface UVB levels by 25% and the UVB rays associated with DNA damage are 40% stronger.
Eye Issues You’ll Want to Avoid
We all know that you can get sunburnt from spending too much time outside without sunscreen protection, but did you know your eyes can get sunburnt as well? Sunburnt eyes are red, dry, painful, and gritty, which is something we’re sure no one wants to experience. Sunburnt eyes can also lead to permanent eye damage such as cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal sunburn, and some eye cancers.
Because you shouldn’t be rubbing sunscreen in your eyes (that’s a whole other problem) you’ll have to use sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. They’re currently one of the only ways you have to protect your eyes, so use them!
For More than Just Sun Protection
Of course, sunglasses aren’t only useful for protecting your eyes against harmful UV rays. Wearing sunglasses can provide you with multiple other benefits throughout the year!
Sunglasses can Help with Vision
If you go out on a cloudy day and try to find your shadow, you may be disappointed. Overcast conditions create ‘flat’ light which results in the absence of shadows. Our eyes rely on highlights and lowlights to accurately perceive our surroundings, so if shadows are lacking, we may have a harder time seeing some objects. Sunglasses with brown, amber, and rose-colored lenses can help to improve the contrast of our surroundings, making it easier to see objects.
Sunglasses Improve Your Driving Conditions
Your car’s windshield provides little protection from both UV rays and glare from surrounding objects, and sunglasses can make up for this. All our sunglasses at Good Day are polarized so they can minimize road glare and provide the highest quality clarity on foggy and overcast days.
Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes from Irritants
If you are an avid fan of cooking shows, you may be able to spot a chef or two chopping onions while wearing sunglasses. Their glasses act as a face shield, protecting their eyes from tear-producing gas emitted by the vegetable. Sunglasses serve a similar purpose when you’re out and about, protecting your eyes from dirt, allergens, and debris that may be floating through the wind.
It is important to wear sunglasses all year round, regardless of the weather you’re facing, and it’s important to us that you look good in your shades. That’s why we’ve designed each pair with both form and function in mind. Make every day a good day with a new pair of shades!