So I have been informed that apparently if you don't wear sunglasses when it's sunny out, when you are much older you will get cataracts. Is this true? I am wondering because I wear sunglasses when it is very sunny but if it's just regular sunny I usually don't wear them. Is this safe? Should I start wearing them? Thanks.


Cataracts are caused mostly by "aging," which is basically the vaguest possible way of saying the effects of decades of life on a body that's not made to last forever. One notable cause though is exposure to ultraviolet radiation, found in sunlight. While you won't definitely get a cataract if you don't wear sunglasses, the statistics seem to indicate that by age 75 around half of all white Americans will get cataracts. The advice for prevention can be pretty vague though. Even the Mayo Clinic, a highly respected medical institution, recommends eating plenty of fruits and veggies to help avoid cataracts. Basically, we know very little about them, so the effect of wearing sunglasses on preventing cataracts is still largely a mystery.

Maybe they help, maybe they don't, but considering the harmful effect of extended periods of ultraviolet radiation on your eyes anyway, it really can't hurt to wear sunglasses on bright days outside. If you want to wear them everyday, that's your choice, if you don't want to wear them ever, still your choice, but in general do your research using reputable sources and you'll be fine.

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