Sunlight can be very harmful to your eyes. Ultraviolet light, or UV light, can cause radiation and damage your eyes over time. The best way to protect your eyes is simple— wear sunglasses when it’s sunny out. But it’s important to wear the right kind of sunglasses. Some do not protect as well as others. Here are some tips on selecting the right kind of sunglasses.
Look for the Sticker that Says “Blocks out 100% of UV Rays”
A lot of sunglasses don’t block out all UV rays, and the way a pair looks and is labelled can be misleading. For example, if a pair is polarized, that may sound like they block out more light and thus more UV rays, but polarization only cuts down on glare. It does not actually block out UV light. You may also think a darker lens blocks out more light and more UV rays, but this isn’t true, either. It may be harder to see through darker lenses, but harmful light can still reach your eyes. The only real way to know if a pair of sunglasses is UV resistant enough is to look for a label that says they block out 100 percent of UV Rays. Anything less than 100 (or 99 percent if that’s all you can find) won’t cut it.
Go For the Lens Color You Like Best
Lenses come in a variety of different colors, the main ones being gray, brown, and amber. Different colors make it easier to see certain things. For example, gray is the best color if you want to be able to see the most color contrast when wearing your sunglasses. But no color protects better against UV rays than any other. So choose which color works best for you. Just be sure that whatever color you choose, it’s uniform over the whole lens. If the color is different in certain areas that could mean the lens is distorted and won’t work as well.
Make Sure They’re Big Enough
Don’t sacrifice form for function. If your sunglasses don’t cover enough area, light can get under them and still damage your eyes. Ideally, when you try on a pair, you shouldn’t be able to see past the edges of the frame in your peripheral vision. For the best coverage, opt for a pair of wrap-around sunglasses. This ensures no light can get in under the edges.
Don’t Spend a Fortune
It isn’t too hard to find sunglasses that are big enough, uniform enough, and have 100 % protection against UV light. It also doesn’t have to be expensive. Sunglasses from designer brands that sport labels saying that they’re polarized and ultra-effective against Ultraviolet light are really no more effective than any other pair that has 100 percent UV protection. Don’t look for fancy labels and whatever claims are advertised. Just make sure that whatever pair you use is right for you. You don’t want a cheap pair that doesn’t block out UV light, but as long as you have that 100 percent guarantee, you have quite a few reasonably priced options.
Have general eye questions? Schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at Eye Care Specialists!