SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Thursday is designated as National Sunglasses Day and a local eye doctor emphasizes the importance of always wearing eye protection when outside.
"It's really important to wear sunglasses. People who are at risk for eye problems and are sensitive to those things, it can really prevent vision loss over time and slow the effects of eye problems down quite a bit," said Dr. Chris Stelton who is an Ophthalmologist at SK Retina in Sarasota.
A recent study by The Vision Council found that only 27% of Americans wear sunglasses every time they go outside.
Stelton said prolonged sun exposure to your eyes can lead to problems.
“We get problems like dry eye, cataracts, macular degeneration is a really important one, and a lot of eyelid cancers are associated with sun exposure,” he added.
He said he sees patients with macular degeneration almost daily and it can be prevented or slowed down by wearing sunglasses.
When buying sunglasses, the best lenses to have are the ones that filter out the most UVA and UVB rays.
"Look for a certain standard of lens, one that protects 99% of UVA and UVB rays. A good thing to look for when you're buying sunglasses is look for something that is rated UV 400, meaning that it blocks out the majority of UV light," he said.