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Not all sunglasses are created equal. There’s one thing that tops all sunglass considerations and it has nothing to do with price or brand names. It’s all about the UV protection. Selecting sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation is the best way to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. Regardless of the season, sun exposure can increase the risk of developing growths on the eye, cataracts, and some eye cancers.

Use the following tips:

1. Look for the label – Only buy sunglasses labeled as 100% UV-A and UV-B or UV400 protection.

2. Size DOES matter – Sunglasses with larger lenses and wraparound glasses offer the best coverage – from UV light as well as wind, evaporation that may cause dry eye, and foreign bodies-grit, sand or dust that can irritate the eye.

3. Price does NOT matter – A higher price tag does not guarantee UV protection. As long as the 100% UV label is there, cheap sunglasses can be just as effective at protecting your eyes as brand name sunglasses.

4. Lens type helps with comfort, not UV protection – Darker lenses or polarized lenses do not block more radiation. Lenses come in different shades-amber, gray, or green-but you can choose based on personal preference. Polarized lenses help with glare coming off reflective surfaces, making activities like driving or water sports easier and more enjoyable.

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

UV 400 protective glasswear