Sunglasses are often considered to be a fashion accessory. However, they are not simply a stylish statement. On the contrary, sunglasses are an important accessory for anyone, young or old, who spends time outdoors. Sunglasses protect the eyes from the sun's harmful rays, which in turn, prevents eye diseases as well as skin cancer around the eyes. Additionally, sunglasses reduce the glare caused by the sun, which prevents the eyes from watering and squinting too much, often causing headaches. Sunglasses promote healthy eyes, which leads to happier wearers. Evolution of Sunglasses Sunglasses have roots set in ancient China and Rome. During court trials, Chinese judges wore dark quartz over their eyes to mask their expressions. And famous Roman emperor Nero wore gemstones over his eyes to prevent sun glare while watching outdoor sporting events. In the 1700s, English optician, James Ayscough, invented blue and green-colored spectacles to treat certain vision problems, and these are considered to be a precursor to modern-day sunglasses. In 1929, Sam Foster, founder of the American company, Foster Grant, invented sunglasses to shield the eyes from the bright summer sun. And he sold the first pair of Foster Grant sunglasses on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Tourists flocked to his stand, and by 1930, sunglasses were all the rage. During this time, actors and actresses glamorized the look of sunglasses, thus increasing the popularity of the necessary accessory. However, sunglasses were not just fashionable; they also served as a highly functional tool during World War II. In the mid-1930s, the Army Air Corps commissioned the optical firm of Bausch & Lomb to develop an effective spectacle that would protect pilots from the dangers of high-altitude sun glare. Consequently, company physicists and opticians produced a unique dark-green tint that absorbed light in the yellow band of the spectrum. This polarized lens technology was created by Edwin H. Land, founder of the Polaroid Land Corporation. In addition to this, they also designed a slightly drooping frame perimeter to shield an aviator's eyes, which consistently glanced downward toward a plane's instrument panel. Fliers were issued the shades for free. And in 1937, the public was able to purchase the model that banned the sun's rays as Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses. Importance of Sunglasses Sunglasses serve several functions for wearers. Owners should be aware of the many advantages to wearing sunglasses daily. Sun Protection Sunglasses help protect eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This type of radiation from sunlight has been linked to the development of cataracts, eye cancers, and age-related macular degeneration, among other eye diseases. Additionally, sunglasses protect the delicate skin around the eyes from these rays that also cause wrinkling, premature aging, and skin cancer. Quality sunglasses block 99 to 100 percent of the sun's harmful UV rays. Glare Reduction The sun's glare is especially strong on surfaces such as water, snow, and vehicle windshields. These light reflections can be very distracting and significantly impede vision. This is very dangerous when driving, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, skiing, or boating. Sunglasses help decrease glare for safer vision. Polarized sunglasses are especially effective at cutting reflective glare when the sun bounces off of certain surfaces. Barrier Protection Sunglasses act as a barrier between the wearer's eyes and environmental conditions. When wearing sunglasses in windy conditions, they reduce the rate of evaporation of tears and help keep eyes moist and comfortable. If the wearer uses contact lenses, this protection is especially needed so that lenses do not dry out. Further, sunglasses prevent windblown particles, such as dust and dirt, from getting into the eyes and causing a corneal scratch. Close-fitting, wraparound sunglasses are very effective at decreasing the potential for dry eyes and eye injuries from windblown particles. Headache and Eyestrain Reduction The pupil at the front of the eye controls how much light reaches the light-sensitive retina in the back of the eye. In dim light, the pupil gets bigger, or dilates, to allow more light to enter. In bright light, the pupil gets smaller to prevent too much light from striking the retina. In really sunny conditions, the pupil is not able to constrict small enough to reduce light to a comfortable level. This causes a person to squint, thus reducing the space between the upper and lower lids and blocking light. Continual squinting causes muscle fatigue. Additionally, constant constriction of the pupil can lead to headaches and eyestrain. Because sunglasses reduce the amount of light that reaches the eyes to a more appropriate level, the need for squinting and severe pupil constriction is eliminated. Therefore, comfort is increased and headaches and eyestrain are reduced. Vision Improvement The eyes require a certain range

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