As you know, I love sunglasses – especially Matrix sunglasses! But in the interest of full disclosure, there are circumstances when it is actually not a good idea to wear your favorite pair of Neo Sunglasses. One such scenario where you may want to leave your shades at home is if you have any type of glaucoma.
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve, which transmits visual images from your eyes to your brain, becomes damaged. The result is that you’ll slowly lose your vision over time. So slow in fact, that an estimated 50% of people with this condition do not even realize they have it. Everyone is at risk for this and there is no known cure. Early symptoms include blurred vision, a halo effect around bright lights, headaches, and even nausea.
If you have glaucoma, especially angle closure glaucoma, your pupils will be ultra sensitive to changes in light intensity. Therefore, your pupils will tend to rapidly dilate to the max when wearing shades or when entering a dark place. In extreme cases, this will cause a spike in your intraocular pressure and could cause a non-permanent but instantaneous blindness. I have seen this happen, and let me tell you it is extremely scary when you don’t know what is going on.
That said, glaucoma is not the only situation where you’ll want to avoid wearing sunglasses. You will also want to avoid wearing sunglasses at night (duh!), if you are achromatic (i.e., you cannot perceive colors), or if you have acute macular neuroretinopathy (AMNR) as this will worsen the inflammation.
Finally, avoid sunglasses that do not protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Look for sunglasses with lenses that have UVA and UVB protection (especially UV400 protection – the best protection for your eyes). Otherwise, you could literally be doing more harm to your eyes than good by wearing them.