Nearly two-thirds claim they take protective measures every time they go outside

Despite the sun’s year-round presence, 39% of Americans mistakenly believe sunglasses are only for summer, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 Americans looked at people’s awareness of how to take protective measures to keep their eyes and body safe and found that similarly, 40% believe sunscreen is only for the summer.

While a majority of respondents are the most careful in the summer (72%), 68% claim they take protective measures every time they go outside – even if for a short period of time.

For some, these measures include wearing sunglasses (62%) or staying hydrated (61%) and for others, it’s applying sunscreen (53%) or wearing clothing that covers their skin (51%).

Conducted by OnePoll for Maui Jim, the survey also found that 42% of respondents admit they don’t think about how their eyes are being affected when spending a long time outside.

Half of Americans spend upwards of five hours outside in the sun every week (51%) with those in the midwest (60%) and west (53%) being most likely to spend longer than five hours outside per week.

When it comes to their daily dose of sun, a third of respondents (34%) didn’t know they shouldn’t be spending more than the recommended 30 minutes outside in the sun every day.

While their western counterparts get more sun, those in the northeast are more likely to wear sunscreen (56%) and tie with southwesterners (63%) to wear sunglasses when going out for everyday chores like errands.

However, two-thirds of respondents know that being out in the sun, even for short periods of time, can be damaging to your eyesight, and a similar percentage know it’s important to wear sunglasses even when it’s cloudy (64%).

Still, nearly half of respondents who drive admitted they don’t always wear sunglasses when driving during the day (49%), and just a quarter knew that yard work has an effect on their eyes.

Similarly, only 24% knew that playing sports can affect your eyes, and just 29% could say they knew the same about drinking alcohol or using power tools.

Two-thirds of people have ignored signs of eye strain like watery eyes (20%) and headaches (19%) without realizing they’re related.