We know we don’t have to convince you to wear sunglasses; how else would you maintain the level of coolness your colleagues expect from you? However, we do believe that by the end of this article, we can convince you that wearing sunglasses with top and side shields is a better option.
Cool your jets; we aren’t talking about your “rad dad,” polarized lawn-mowing specials. We’re talking specifically about sunglasses that protect the sides of your eyes.
Let’s look at why our eyes need so much protection, the risks they face each day, and why glasses with top and side shields (like Stoggles) offer a superior level of protection compared to standard glasses.
Why Your Eyes Are So Sensitive
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” It’s a line that has been passed down through generations of worrisome parents and has been forever emblazoned in our minds through cinema. Why are parents so concerned with our eyesight?
The main reason is that your eyes aren’t as protected as other seriously important parts of your body (like your brain, which is encased in bone). Your eyes are surrounded by boney sockets, but the only protection they have aside from that is a thin membrane that surrounds the visible part of your eye.
You’ve got eyelids, of course, but those guys stay open half the time. So, for solid eye protection, they’re not as strong as the muscle and bone that covers our heart and lungs, yet the eyes are still arguably as important.
The cells that make up the part of your eyes that create vision are called retina cells, and you’re only born with a limited amount of them. Retinal cells are precious. They are particularly fragile, and there aren’t a lot of them hanging out in your eyeballs. Until recently, scientists also believed that retinal cells couldn’t regenerate (make more, new retinal cells).
Although new evidence shows retina cells may continue to regenerate just before they die, that regeneration isn’t fast enough to prevent blindness. This discovery of retinal regeneration is a step toward eradicating the onset of blindness, but there’s still work to do. Definitely don’t bank on eye cell regeneration to restore your eyesight if you suddenly lose it.
What Affects Your Eye Health?
Eye health can be affected by a myriad of different external stressors, including environmental risks and your own (not so great) lifestyle choices and behaviors.
Let’s break down what breaks down your eyesight and learn how sunglasses that protect the sides of your eyes can help.
Ever since we were little, we’ve been told to slather ourselves in sunscreen. Wearing a hat, wearing sunscreen, and wearing clothes with UV protective properties are great. However, as the infomercial people say, “That’s not all.”
The sun is really harmful to the health of your eye. In fact, this is one of the reasons why we squint. Squinting is our eyes’ automatic response to attempt to decrease their exposure to light.
Over time, unprotected sun exposure can cause blurry vision, light sensitivity, excessive tearing, and even blindness. We’ll go on to cover a few sun-related conditions that are a threat to eye health.
It is worth noting that some of the biggest dangers our eyes face are in the permanent damage of their DNA. Damaged DNA can result in life-altering conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness. Research suggests that this disease is more likely to occur with UV exposure.
Glaucoma and similar conditions are cumulative, meaning that the damage is compiled over time. Each round of exposure can increase the risk of permanent damage. Plus, we are more likely to face harmful UV exposure than our ancestors due to the thinning in the ozone layer. However, we have something in our back pocket (in a case) that our ancestors didn’t know the full secrets of: UV blocking glasses.
UV rays are known to cause skin cancer. These rays are so powerful that they can change the chemical bonds in outdoor furniture, permanently bleaching it.
Sun-Related Eye Issues
- Cataracts. Cataracts usually happen when you get older, but UVB rays can also be a source of developing this eye lens clouding condition and at a much younger age.
Skin Cancer. It’s possible to develop skin cancer anywhere on your body (and we mean anywhere). Your eyelids and your temples are no exception. The skin on your eyelids and temples is extremely thin and more susceptible to damage than the skin on other areas of your body.
Additionally, we don’t normally put sunscreen on our eyelids because we’re instructed not to. The chemicals in sunblock (even mineral sunblock) can be irritating and dangerous to the eyes. As such, we need sunglasses to shield our eyes and eyelids from the sun and protect our eyelid skin from sun damage.
If you aren’t wearing sunglasses that protect the sides of your eyes, you’re leaving those areas of skin vulnerable to sun damage.
- Macular Degeneration. The macula is located in the center of the retina and helps you maintain clear, detailed vision. Macular degeneration happens when the macula begins to break down. UV radiation can harm the retina and macula and cause loss of vision that results in farsightedness.
Surfer’s Eye. Pterygium, aka Surfer’s Eye, is a condition that happens when your eye is damaged by light that is reflected from a surface, like water or snow.
This condition specifically affects the protective membrane that lays on the outside of the eye, causing it to become irritated and cause redness, excessive tearing, and give you the feeling like you have sand in your eyes, which is very gnarly, dude.
- Burning of the Cornea. The cornea can burn when exposed to the sun. Unlike your skin, the cornea won’t heal as quickly or as thoroughly when it gets a sunburn. This is called keratitis. Keratitis has other causes, but UV light can be one of them.
Wind and Particle Damage
The wind may not damage your eye health, but it can sure make it uncomfortable for you to enjoy being outdoors. If you have particularly sensitive eyes, you may avoid going outside when it’s blustery.
Wearing standard shades won’t protect you from the wind. Just like water, it can infiltrate unprotected areas with ease. The sides and tops of your glasses are easy targets for wind to blow in, possibly bringing dust and pollinating particles right along with it.
If you’re in an environment with damaging particles that could scratch your eyes or cut them, wearing glasses without side coverage is just a bad decision.
Free Radical Damage
You hear a lot about free radical damage these days, especially if you do a lot of research about taking care of your cellular health. It can seem more like a buzz-worthy, trend term than an actual scientific phenomenon.
Free Radical Damage, which is also known as oxidative stress, is a real process by which our cells are damaged by other molecules. To fully understand what is a pretty complicated process, let’s break it down into easy-to-understand terms.
Your eyes (and every other tissue in your body) are made up of cells. These cells contain compounds that make up their tiny organelles. These compounds are made up of molecules. The molecules are made of atoms, which is, of course, the foundational structure of all things everywhere.
Free radicals are unbalanced atoms or molecules. They need at least two electrons to be balanced. When they’re not balanced, they’re on a mission to become balanced. They restore their balance by robbing other balanced atoms or molecules of their electrons.
When a free radical attacks another atom or molecule and steals its electron, the cell where that atom or molecule lives becomes damaged, right down to its DNA. For your eyes, this means the development of glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Free radicals come from sources inside and outside your body. Cigarette smoke, smog, pollution, household chemical fumes, and ultraviolet rays are all sources of free radicals. You can protect yourself against them by consuming more antioxidants, but for your eyes, the biggest source is often the sun. Sunglasses are the best source of protection.
Why Sunglasses Are So Important
Sunglasses are important because they protect your eyes from damaging sun rays, but also because they protect those areas of your skin that aren’t suitable for sunscreen. Not just any sunglasses work, though, and it’s important to understand that the darkness of your sunglasses doesn’t dictate the level of protection you have from ultraviolet rays.
To be seriously effective, you’ve got to have glasses that are both UVA and UVB blocking. Both types of rays damage your eyes, so it’s important your glasses are coated with a protective layer that blocks them both.
And now for the plot twist: top and side shields are necessary. Don’t give us the side-eye without considering side eye protection.
The Case For Top and Side Shields
You get one set of eyes, and with every trip you take around the sun, you’re in a constant battle to keep the vision you have. Age-related vision loss is inevitable, and chances are strong (like 99.99% strong) you’ll end up in corrective lenses at some point in your life.
As such, protecting your vision against external stressors, like the sun, wind, and everything else we mentioned) is crucial. Proper eye protection can help preserve eye health and protect against other related conditions that interfere with your quality of life.
Thankfully, there’s an option that allows you to protect your eyes and your ego at the same time.
The Stoggles Difference
You don’t have to cut a mullet and wear jean shorts to rock a pair of sunglasses that protect the sides of your eyes. Stoggles makes it easy for you to get the eye protection you need and retain the style you love.
We developed Stoggles so that people who need safety glasses (also known as “all people”) had an option that protected their eyes without giving them the same awkward feeling they remembered from wearing safety goggles in their middle school chemistry lab.
From the nurse in the surgical room to the guy edging his yard at home and everyone in between, Stoggles has glasses that protect the eyes and preserve the swagger.
All Stoggles (not just our stylish SunStoggles) are UV blocking, so you don’t have to worry that your eyes will become damaged from ultraviolet radiation, whether you’re exposed to it at the beach or in a lab. Both UVA and UVB rays are blocked by our protective safety glasses and sunglasses.
Side and Top Shields
Stoggles feature top and side shields that are impact-resistant, UV blocking, and incredibly understated in appearance. This allows you to protect every aspect of your eye, including the delicate eye skin, without sacrificing style.
We don’t even bother offering glasses that don’t have an anti-fog coating because that wouldn’t make sense. Safety glasses and protective sunglasses lose their effectiveness if you have to take them off to wipe them down, exposing your eyes to pathogens, the sun, or flying objects.
Instead, we just make really awesome glasses that don’t fog up, even on a south Florida beach.
ANSI Z87.1 Certification
We know you’re going to wear your sunglasses when you take on weekend-warrior-style projects around the house. Instead of “shooting your eye out” with a nail gun or catching a rogue rock from the lawnmower, grab a pair of Stoggles.
Our glasses and sunglasses are both ANSI Z87.1 certified for impact resistance, so you can be bold with that nail gun and still retain your vision (limbs, however, are not covered by our glasses).
We mean it, bragging or not. Our glasses look good while providing the best protection possible for your eyes. Available in different frame styles and numerous colors, you can customize your look and get protection and aesthetics in one fell swoop.
Too Bad I Wear Prescription Lenses…
Fear not, four-eyed friends, Stoggles are available in prescription strength. We take care of all your prescription requests in-house to save you time and money.
Your Future’s So Bright BECAUSE You Wear Shades
Your vision is precious, and it’s important to do what you can to ensure it is protected. Wearing sunglasses that protect the sides of your eyes is important to keeping your vision and protecting the delicate skin around your eyes from ultraviolet rays.
You could buy clunky glasses from the convenience store when you’re filling up, or you could shop at Stoggles, where protection and style meet comfort in a beautiful marriage of aesthetics and science. We highly recommend the latter.
Free radicals, antioxidants and eye diseases: evidence from epidemiological studies on cataract and age-related macular degeneration | PubMed
Before Retinal Cells Die, They Regenerate, Penn Vet Blindness Study Finds | Penn Today
How the Sun Can Damage Your Eyes | Keck Medicine.org
Focus on Eyelid Skin Cancers: Early Detection and Treatment | Skin Cancer Foundation
Free Radicals: Definition, Cause, and Role in Cancer | Very Well Health.
A review: role of ultraviolet radiation in age-related macular degeneration | PubMed