Even Snakes Wear ‘Sunglasses’

The sun, while sustaining our planet, gives off a type of radiation that can affect our eyesight. Ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, come off in three different varieties. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, types UVA and UVB can cause long-term damage, while UVC rays are absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere. The more your eyes are exposed to this type of radiation, the more you are put at risk for ocular damage. Sunglasses can help prevent this damage, but what about other animals that live out in the sun? It turns out that some, like snakes, have developed their own version of “sunglasses” to help combat the sun’s effects.

Snakes Wear "Shades"Recent studies have shown that snakes that hunt in the daytime have a special filter in their eyes. This filter allows the snakes to have sharper vision and increases their success with hunting. On the other hand – or, well, lack of one – nighttime snakes have a filter that allows UV rays to filter in, making them more effective at stalking prey in the dark. These snakes have gone through an evolution in the cells of their eyes that have allowed them to make the snakes more effective in their environments. According to a report on the study, research has shown that 69 percent of snakes’ eyes have adapted in some way.

Unlike humans, snakes have very specialized cells in their eyes. Each type of snake has its own set of rods and cones. Snakes are also sensitive to different types of light and colors. Humans are able to see three primary colors, while snakes can only see two types of primary colors. Their eyes are not the same as ours, and these filters have allowed them to move past the need for sunglasses. We think that’s pretty cool! While this research is relatively new, we are hoping that this discovery can lead to some progressive ocular technology in the future.

Unlike snakes, children are at risk of UV radiation exposure. Their eyes are not full developed and adapted to the bright sun. Children spend lots of time outdoors playing, and this increases the potential of a child’s eyes being affected. By doing something as simple as having your child wear sunglasses every time they’re outside, you can block out up to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Children with blue eyes are at a higher risk for UV damage, but it is important to get all kids comfortable with wearing sunglasses starting at a young age. Good life habits start when someone is younger, and a good habit like wearing sunglasses could help your child develop into a savvy, health conscious individual. We aren’t as lucky as snakes to have built in filters. Maybe someday, the human body could evolve to accommodate the eye filter, but for now, wearing sunglasses is vital to protect our eyes.

At Real Kids Shades, we believe in quality and offer a full range of excellent glasses for children of all ages that are bendable, flexible and block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Have any questions on getting glasses for your child? Give us a call today at 800-283-1106.