Six different sunglasses lying in green clover

It may not be at the top of everyone’s holiday list, but June 27 is National Sunglasses Day, and, given the importance of eye care, we think it’s worth observing.

The earliest “sun” glasses can be traced back to prehistoric times. The Inuits, for example, carved out slits in walrus tusk ivory and wore them over their eyes to help prevent snow blindness. In the 12thcentury, the Chinese crafted lenses from smoky quartz, not for outdoor use, rather for judges to wear to conceal their facial expressions. And in the mid-18thcentury, green lenses were discovered to help with certain vision abnormalities.

Modern sunglasses came much later, first as a fashion accessory and then as a sunshield. In fact, in the 1800s and early 1900s, sunlight and light therapy were considered for their therapeutic health benefits by the scientific community, prior to realizing that there could also be harmful effects to skin and eyes if exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is excessive.

It was in 1929, when Sam Foster began peddling his mass-produced eyewear in Atlantic City, New Jersey that sunglasses became a true fashion accessory. Just shy of a decade later, in 1937, 20 million sunglasses were sold in the United States alone. Since then, sunglasses have become a wardrobe staple, with China—the world’s largest producer of sunglasses—exporting 120 million pairs annually.

Whether prescription, designer, or a more affordable brand, look for shades that will protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. Studies show that excessive UV exposure increases the chance of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, so purchase sunnies with 99% to 100% UVA and UVB blockage. And while you’re at it, don’t forget your sunscreen, hat, and UV-protective clothing when working or playing outside. Also, whenever possible, take a break in a shaded area to give your eyes a rest.

For more information about protecting your eyes year-round, visit

About StruXure Outdoor

StruXure OutdoorTM (formerly Arcadia) is the building industry’s premier designer and manufacturer of high-quality adjustable louvered structures. With patented products like the Pivot, the Slide, the Pivot XL, a complete gutter system, and bonus features designed with advanced technology, the company has become one of the fastest growing privately held businesses in the United States, appearing on the Inc. 5000 list for the past four years. Founded outside of Atlanta in 2011, by CEO and Chief Product Architect Scott Selzer, StruXure OutdoorTM has grown to include two major manufacturing facilities in North Georgia and Nevada, with a staff of more than 50 and a massive dealer network that spans from Canada to the Caribbean. StruXure’s motto of ‘good isn’t good enough,’ and its dedication to its core values of quality, customer service, and innovation, serve as the driving forces behind the company’s continued innovation and growth.