Not just your Ray Bans and designer brands like Chanel or Dior either. Even Dame Edna Everage’s horn-rimmed crystal encrusted shades can make you stand out from the crowd. And who could go out anywhere in the sparkling Aussie summer without sunglasses? It is like being naked in public if you rush out on your way to work and leave them behind.

All jokes aside though and stepping around the fashion police there are far more important reasons to grab those shades on the way out the door and that’s because it is imperative to protect your most important sense from the damage that the sun can cause them.

Protect Your Eyes from Sun Damage

The intense ultraviolet rays of the sun damage sensitive cells in the eyes, eventually affecting vision. Experts say it is difficult to isolate the exact amount of damage that UV radiation imposes on the eye over a long period. However, a number of studies have shown that the effects build up and may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life. These may include cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataracts are a leading cause of reduced vision in the United States in people age 60 and older, according to the National Eye Institute.

Eye Damage in the Short Term is Possible

It can take years before you experience any of the sun’s damaging effects on your eyes. But, some damage can occur in the short term, such as photo keratitis and photo conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the membrane outside of the eye (think pink eye). If your eyes feel tired, sore and gritty after a day at the beach, skiing or boating, you may have experienced UV radiation exposure.

So don’t forget to get some good quality sunnies before the sunburnt country we love does your blinkers some serious harm.