Eighty-five percent of Americans say they think that eye protection is important to their good health, yet fewer than two-thirds of them regularly wear protective eyewear when they're outdoors. The number falls to just a third of people aged 18-24.
The survey, which was conducted by N3L Optics, a retailer of sports performance sunglasses that is owned by Luxottica, also found that nearly half of Americans don't wear sunglasses. Though most people said they worried about their eye health, almost a quarter didn't know that sun exposure can lead to eye cancer or cataracts.
One in 10 has sustained an eye injury while participating in outdoor sports or other activities, with men twice as likely to be injured. The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that 90 percent of sports eye injuries can be prevented. April was Sports Eye Safety Month.
Among the outdoor activities reported by the respondents to N3L's survey, 76 percent walk for fitness, 37 percent take part in water sports, 35 percent hike, 27 percent play outdoor team sports, and 26 percent cycle. The numbers are about the same as they were last year. Runners and water sports participants scored low on wearing protective eyewear with 40 percent and 35 percent respectively not consistently wearing sunglasses. Only half of male outdoor participants are careful to get the right sunwear for their activity; that number sinks to a third among women.
N3L hypothesizes that people are hesitant to wear sunglasses because in the past they've had eyewear that didn't fit right or didn't provide clarity. Technological breakthroughs have eliminated these issues.
The survey was conducted among 1,080 people aged 18-54 across the U.S. who had bought at least one pair of sunglasses in the last two years and participated in an outdoor activity in the last year.