Love to wear sunglasses

4 reasons sunglasses are more important than you think

Medically checked by Jakub Odcházel, chief optician at 321Linsen, on April 24th, 2020
Written by Leonie Bauer

Wearing sunglasses is becoming increasingly popular. For good reason. Sunglasses in their many colors, shapes and materials underline our character and perfectly showcase our personality. That's why they have long been our favorite accessory.

But the style factor in sunglasses isn't their only asset. First and foremost, sunglasses have an immeasurable protective function against UV rays.

They protect our eyes from serious eye diseases and are the best remedy for sun rays. For both adults and children. Both in summer and in winter!

Find out which properties of sunglasses protect our eyes and why branded sunglasses are more expensive, but also more protective.

1. Sunlight can cause serious eye diseases

As the name suggests, we wear sunglasses to protect ourselves from the sun and its UV radiation. Just as our skin needs to be protected from the sun with sunscreen and long clothes, so should our eyes. Because solar radiation has fatal consequences for our cornea and retina.

If too much sunlight gets into our eyes unfiltered, especially at a young age, serious illnesses can develop, which can lead to complete blindness or even cancer.

Note: An adult lens can absorb UV light to some extent, preventing it from getting inside the eye.

However, the eyes of children are particularly at risk from sunlight: In the first year of life, 90% of UVA and over 50% of UVB rays reach the retina, and between the ages of 10 and 13, 60% and 25% respectively. Only at the age of 18 to 20 years can the UV rays be stopped by our lens. Read our blog article about the 7 reasons why kids should wear sunglasses.

Here is an overview of the most common eye diseases caused by sunlight


Cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 40 and also the leading cause of blindness in the world. In addition to advancing age, the risk factors for cataracts also include ultraviolet radiation. To prevent cataracts, wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of the sun's UV rays. However, complete prevention of cataracts with sunglasses is not guaranteed, as the disease can also be triggered by factors other than the sun.

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration occurs when the small central part of your retina called the macula wears away. The retina is the light-sensitive nerve tissue at the back of your eye. The condition does not usually cause blindness, but it can cause severe vision problems. Several prestigious studies have shown that exposure to the sun can be a risk factor for macular degeneration and that the skin's sensitivity to sunlight and the color of the iris play a key role in determining macular degeneration.

Eye cancer

Most melanomas affect the skin, but some develop elsewhere on the body, including the eye. Eye cancer (ocular melanoma) develops in the pigment-producing cells that give the eyes color. The presence of UV light can increase the risk of melanoma in the conjunctiva. This melanoma occurs on the surface of the eye.

Which sunglasses protect you from serious diseases caused by the sun?

Not all sunglasses are created equal. Whether vintage, cheap, expensive or polarized, they may or may not do their job.

Most sunglasses these days have UV protection embedded in the lens rather than coated over it. Most well-known brands list UV protection on their label. Look for a label that says "100% protection against UVA and UVB" or "100% protection against UV 400."

2. Snow, sand and wind cause painful irritation to the eyes

While most of us believe that sunglasses only protect against the sun, they also offer protection against numerous other risk factors.


Just as sunglasses protect us from the sun's UV radiation, they also help us against UV radiation and reflections in the sun snow.

Snow reflects 80% of the sun's UV rays and can cause what is known as snow blindness, which is where the sun actually glares the cornea burns . When skiing, snowboarding or hiking in the snow (any time of the year), please wear sunglasses. Make sure it covers and protects the bottom of your eyes as the snow is reflective.


Sand can also cause severe irritation and staining of the eyes. Therefore, always wear sunglasses when lying on the beach or playing volleyball. Learn more about what else is damaging your eyes on the beach.


Last but not least, wind can irritate and dry out the eyes. Sunglasses therefore protect you well from head-on wind. If you are prone to dry eyes in winds, consider using eye drops.

3. Your eyes need special care when they are recovering from surgery

Some of us have eye surgery to combat visual impairment so we can see easily without glasses or contact lenses. A commonly performed operation is LASIK. The correction is achieved with a special laser that reshapes the cornea with the aim of changing the focusing power.

Over time, the operated eyes improve steadily. This makes it possible to go back to work a few days after the operation and get back to everyday life. In the first few days, patients can perceive symptoms such as slight irritation and sensitivity to light, halos, glare or flashes of light in low-light surroundings.

In the vast majority of cases, these problems are temporary and go away completely within three to six months. During this time, the eyes should be strictly protected from sunlight, dirt and the elements. The best way to achieve this is to wear good quality sunglasses.

4. Inexpensive, poor quality sunglasses are more damaging to your eyes than leaving out sunglasses

Even if sunglasses from the supermarket, clothing store, gas station or beach vendors are very common and inexpensive, we strongly advise against these cheap glasses. Unfortunately, cheap sunglasses often do not offer adequate sun protection and can therefore lead to serious eye diseases.

The reason for this is simple: the dark tinted lenses of every pair of sunglasses, whether expensive or cheap, dilate our pupils. This enables us to see better in bright light conditions. However, dilated pupils can have serious consequences if the dark lenses do not offer built-in UV protection. The sun's rays can penetrate the inside of the eye unhindered and cause diseases such as cataracts or eye cancer (see above).

Therefore, please always wear high-quality branded sunglasses with a label that says 100% UVA and UVB protection.

Are you convinced? Then browse through our huge selection of high-quality sunglasses. 321Linsen offers you sunglasses of the highest quality, the most prestigious brands and with the best UV filters.

Would you like to find out more about us and our online shop? The professionals from interviewed the editor-in-chief of 321Linsen!

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