Many people have the misconception that visually impaired people wear dark glasses to hide their eyes. While there are a few who wear shades for the same reason, this is not why blind people wear them. People suffering from such impairment have the same threat of being affected by the sun as others, regardless of whether they can see or not.
Chances of developing eye-related ailments
Just like anyone else, people with vision deficiencies have to worry about keeping their eyes safe from the harmful radiation of the sun. Though they cannot see, the radiation still affects the eyes, and can lead to the development of a number of eye problems. The ultraviolet radiation and glare that affects a person’s eyes could lead to the formation of cataracts, keratitis, pterygium, and various other ailments that have permanent negative impacts on an individual.
In fact, in some cases, prolonged exposure to sunlight without protection could even lead to a form of cancer of the eye. Patients who suffer from glaucoma also require sunglasses to keep them safe and avoid further damage or pain to the eyes. There is some debate about whether sunglasses play a role in causing skin cancer. The main reason behind the argument is the fact that sunglasses may have the effect of tricking the eye into creating less hormones that stimulate melanocyte production in the body.
Brightness is still an issue
Though people with visual impairment may not be able to make out objects in front of them due to a lack of functionality of their eyes, they are still able to differentiate brightness of the sun. Light sensitivity and vision are two completely different things. Wearing sunglasses protects wearers from the brightness and glare, two aspects that can be sensed, even by those who are blind.
Fighting the stereotype
Blind people definitely require sunglasses just as much as anyone else. However, they are forced to fight the stereotype just because they require the shades for comfort. Most people tend to assume that someone who is visually handicapped wears shades to avoid discomfort in a social surrounding. Even if there are a few who prefer to keep their eyes hidden for this reason, it is not necessary that this is the sole purpose, or main reason for the sunglasses. They perform a number of additional functions that are just as important to them as to others.