I’ve always loved accessorizing, and I feel like sunglasses are the cherry on top for any outfit. They have a perfect balance of function and fashion, and are super easy to throw on before heading out the door. Previously, I considered their only practical use to be cutting through glare, but due to some recent developments, I learned just how crucial it really is to own a good pair of shades.

Within the past few years, I began noticing that after spending time outdoors, my eyes tend to become red and irritated. At first, it didn’t seem like a cause for concern, because the issue went away after a few hours, or a good night’s sleep. Over time, the reactions got worse and lasted longer, and I discovered that I was growing pterygiums, which I described in my surfing injuries post. Wearing sunglasses is one of the best ways to prevent Pterygiums from getting worse, so I have made a very conscious effort to bring some shades with me wherever I go. I have found that wearing higher quality sunnies makes a huge difference - unfortunately the super cheapies just do not make the cut, regardless of what their supposed UV rating is. If you’re a surfer, or someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, I strongly recommend investing in a good pair of sunglasses to protect your peepers!

Unfortunately, I also recently found out that I seem to have inherited a susceptibility to get bad headaches and migraines. For those who are lucky enough to have never experienced one, a migraine is more than just a headache - with symptoms varying between individuals. I’ve noticed that sitting in direct sunlight is a trigger for my migraines, so I’ve had to become very cautious to always have my sunglasses on hand. I’ve found that glasses with polarized lenses really help, especially if I’m looking toward the ocean in the afternoon. Luckily, most midrange to high end sunglasses brands offer polarized glasses in a variety of styles. I totally understand that migraines have all sorts of triggers, and everyone is different, but this is definitely something I am glad I picked up on. Since I’ve started wearing sunglasses more regularly, I have had much less severe symptoms. As a bonus, sunnies help prevent normal headaches as well!

While bringing sunglasses everywhere may feel like just another item to remember, they are definitely important additions to the “everyday essentials” list. If anything, they can help spice up an outfit, and arguably, they might be the most useful accessory - although smart watch enthusiasts would disagree. No matter what your go to is, be it cat-eye, speed blades, or wayfarers, remember to stay shady, my friends.