Buying Sunglasses? Read This First

Not all sunglasses are created equal. Hint: it’s all about the UV protection! Wearing sunglasses without 100 percent UV protection is actually a serious health risk – regardless of the season, sun exposure can increase the risk of developing growths on the eye, cataracts, and some eye cancers. Front Range Eye Physicians, Front Range Optical, and the Academy offer the following tips for picking the best sunglasses for you:

Look for the label

Only buy sunglasses labeled as 100% UV-A and UV-B or UV400 protection.

Size DOES matter

Larger lenses may provide more protection. Wraparound glasses offer the best coverage, since they can protect the eye from UV light entering from the side, as well as from wind, evaporation that may cause dry eye, and irritants, like grit, sand or dust.

UV Damage Statistics from AAO

Price does NOT matter

As long as the 100% UV label is there, cheap sunglasses can be just as effective at protecting your eyes as brand name sunglasses.

Lens type helps with comfort, not UV protection

Darker lenses or polarized lenses do not block more radiation. Whether the lenses are amber, gray, or green, these lenses help with glare coming off reflective surfaces – which can make activities like driving or water sports easier and more enjoyable.

For more information about eye health, visit the Academy’s EyeSmart website.

Sun Shades Stats from the AAO