When are sunglasses banned?
Posted On July 8, 2021
A new research paper by Oxford University suggests that when it comes to the safety of sunglasses, there are no clear rules.
It comes as a new survey has found that nearly half of British adults think that wearing sunglasses is a bad idea, while almost two thirds (65%) agree that wearing them on a hot day is risky.
However, the study found that when you dig deeper, people do have some basic guidelines in place.
The paper, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, asks participants to estimate the risk they are at if they had to wear a pair of sunglasses for a specific period of time.
They were asked to estimate how much they would risk getting heatstroke and how much that would be worth.
The authors found that the average person was more likely to overestimate their risk of getting heat stroke than to underestimate it.
“This indicates that most people believe that wearing glasses is risky, but that people tend to be overconfident about the risks they face,” said lead author Dr Simon Bauld, of the University of Oxford.
What’s more, people in the study were more likely than those in the control group to assume that people wearing glasses were more at risk of heatstroke, with a slightly higher risk of the latter than those wearing glasses in the group that did not wear glasses.
And even when asked to compare the risks of wearing a pair or no glasses, those wearing no glasses were still more likely (28%) to underestimate their risk than those who wore glasses (20%).
The study also found that people in Australia are more likely in general to overestimated their risk, with one in five (19%) people saying they thought their risk would be higher than the actual risk.
The study is also the first to ask people if they think glasses are a good idea when they need them.
There are several possible reasons for people overestimating their risk when wearing glasses, said lead researcher Dr Simon Baillie, from the University’s School of Health Psychology.
The first reason is that most of us wear glasses to protect our eyes from the sun and to prevent catching infections.
Second, most people who wear glasses also take them out at work.
Third, people may assume that wearing a protective coat or mask will prevent the sun from getting in.
Fourth, people often wear glasses in an attempt to help reduce the risk of eye damage caused by sunburn.
Fifth, people who think wearing glasses makes them more likely, are more confident and more likely also to take more precautions.
Sixth, wearing glasses has also been linked to other health issues, including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The study found a similar trend when it came to the overall number of glasses people are wearing.
But it was the number of people wearing no-glasses glasses, or wearing glasses with lenses that was more worrying.
It also showed that people overestimated how much risk they would be at if wearing glasses at all.
Those who wear no-glass glasses were only marginally more likely compared with those wearing goggles or a helmet.