73% of adults wear sunglasses, only 58% of them make their children wear shades. Sunglasses are one of the most popular fashion accessories and the industry alone rakes in millions upon millions every year.

But for most people the biggest decision factor for a pair of shades is the “style.” The predominant thought is that sunglasses are an accessory and not particularly “needed” like say a coat or a pair of pants are.

And in a lot of cases they aren’t as crucial, however they are more beneficial for our health than most of us realize. So if you find yourself not pulling the trigger on a good pair of shades like me, maybe looking at it from a health angle as opposed to a fashion angle will help you take the plunge into shade ownership.

If after reading this article you decide to purchase a pair of glasses and you go the online route you can try this nifty free app to try just about any brand and style virtually. Because you cant make the buying decision on just health alone. Feeling good in your glasses will motivate you to wear them more often. So make sure to snag a pair you really like. But lets get down to the nitty gritty health issues.


Worldwide, about 900,000 people are blind because of cataracts. Cataracts are basically clouds in the eye that hinder vision. Guess what causes them? You guessed UV rays, the type of rays sunglasses are designed to block.

Skin Cancer

10% of those diagnosed with skin cancer in the USA have it on their eyelids. 10% isn’t the biggest number, but for something that’s easily prevented with just dawning a pair of slick shades, that number could easily be lower.

Macular Degeneration

This is the normal wear and tear that comes with age that causes vision to slowly degrade over a persons lifetime. But guess what speeds it up? Yup another case of overexposure to UV rays.

Why do most people not wear sunglasses? The number one reason is people say they “forget” which is understandable because culturally we haven’t really adopted wearing sunglasses as a healthy habit as opposed to simply a fashionable one. Following about 15% of people say they bought a pair, they broke easily or were lost and felt like it would be a waste of money to purchase another pair.

I fall into this category, especially with my kids. A good remedy is if you wear prescription glasses normally is to snag a pair of prescription sunglasses as you are much less likely to lose or break a pair of sunglasses if they double as functional glasses as well.

The other 20% of people believe that UV rays are not harming their eyes. This is the most troubling statistic as the data is pretty clear that UV rays can and do damage the eyes.

Also as a final reminder, don’t just go and buy a cheap pair of glasses from a street vendor. Many of them don’t actually protect from UV rays, and since they darken your vision your pupils dilate and you end up taking in more UV rays than had you not been wearing the sunglasses at all. You can check a good guide to getting cheap quality products online including glasses here.

Remember its more than fashion, its health. Save your eyes and look good while doing it.