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Sunglasses and Cataracts: What to Know

Nov 17, 2023 Olympic Eyewear


Marketing is a tricky thing in the fashion industry. It goes without saying that some fashion trends are just that. But when it comes to a product like sunglasses, fashion is only one small consideration. A much bigger consideration is eye protection. That leads to the question of discussing sunglasses and cataracts with your customers. Is it appropriate?

While we don't doubt that some people buy designer sunglasses exclusively for fashion purposes, looking good is not the primary function for a typical pair of shades. Manufacturers make sunglasses – and we wear them – to protect our eyes against UV rays. The thing about UV rays is that they can do a lot of damage. Numerous studies indicate that some of that damage might eventually lead to cataracts.

Eye Health Is a Fair Marketing Angle

As for discussing designer sunglasses and cataracts together, it is both appropriate and fair. In terms of the former, the very fact that sunglasses are supposed to protect the eyes against something that could ultimately be very harmful makes talking about cataract protection more than appropriate. It is almost necessary.

In terms of being fair, the whole point of marketing sunglasses is to let consumers know you have something they need. They are going to buy designer sunglasses from someone. If they don't buy them from you, they will buy them from a competitor.

It is completely reasonable and fair to include eye health in your marketing efforts. Whether you are looking to sell aviators to college students, wraparounds to athletes, or the latest trendy sunglasses to the fashion conscious, the underlying motivation is still eye protection.

The Damage Is Hard to Quantify

Many studies over the years have found a link between long-term UV exposure and cataracts. One of the most cited of all is a 1988 study that looked at just over 800 men whose jobs had them working on Chesapeake Bay. The men showed higher rates of cataracts based on their likely exposure to UVB rays.

In fairness, the amount of damage UV rays cause is hard to quantify. We can cite multiple reasons for this, including not having a reliable baseline. But not being able to quantify the damage doesn't erase the link between UV exposure and cataracts. Therefore, we feel it is entirely appropriate to discuss issues of eye health with your customers.

You're Not an Optometrist, Unless You Are

We are guessing that most of the customers who purchase bulk sunglasses from Olympic Eyewear at wholesale prices are owners of retail operations. They run boutiques, eyewear kiosks, and online sunglasses outlets. We say this: do not claim to have the expertise of an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

You can discuss eye health with customers and not cross the line into giving medical advice. Not only that, but it is also important to do so. Medical advice is the domain of the healthcare industry. Your priority is simply to educate consumers about the UV protection your sunglasses offer and how that's good for eye health.

One of the eye health issues you can certainly bring up is the link between UV rays and cataracts. You can point out the studies before directing customers to high quality sunglasses that offer full UV filtering.

Is it okay to discuss sunglasses and cataracts? Sure, as long as you frame the discussion in the right way. Cataract risk is strong motivation to wear sunglasses whenever a person goes out of the house. And because you sell designer sunglasses, you have what people need to protect their eyes against the damage UV rays are known to cause.

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