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Why should I wear sunglasses when outside?

Your cornea is the clear portion of your eyes that covers the iris. The iris is the portion of your eye that has color. Lights -- such as those that come from the sun (UV light), a welder's light, or a sun-tanning bed -- can cause a corneal burn called ultraviolet keratitis. If you spend a day skiing in sunny weather or out at a ballgame, there is a risk that you'll burn your cornea from the UV light exposure. The easiest way to prevent this is to wear sunglasses.
UV-blocking sunglasses are actually very good for your eyes. Excessive exposure to UV light reflected off sand, water or pavement can damage the eyes' front surface. In addition to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, sun exposure can lead to lesions and tumors that may be cosmetically unappealing and frequently require surgical removal. Everyone should wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses when doing outdoor activities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.