A nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults participated in the survey. The results reveal a need for educational efforts about UV damage and to change current habits that offer little protection from the sun.
While most Americans report wearing sunglasses, more than 25 percent rarely or never wear them, leaving eyes at risk. Generationally, the use of sunglasses varies substantially among the four major age groups:
Millennials (born 1981-1996): They are the least likely to report wearing shades always or often (43 percent), and while they are the least likely to cite UV protection as a reason to wear them (55 percent), they are most likely to report wearing shades to look good (36 percent).
Generation X (born 1965-1980): They are much more likely than their younger counterparts to wear sunglasses always or often (56 percent) and to cite UV as a reason (65 percent). Fewer are concerned about looks (26 percent).
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964): Fifty-three percent say they protect their eyes always or often with sunglasses, while 27 percent rarely or never do. They are highly aware of UV danger (61 percent) but don’t care much about how they look in sunglasses (9 percent).
Beyond Boomers (born 1945 or earlier): They are the most likely to wear sunglasses most of the time (58 percent) and the least likely to say rarely or never (20 percent). They also have the greatest knowledge of UV danger (70 percent) and the least concern about looks (7 percent).