Shopping for Sunglasses? 6 Things to Know

While fashion often is the first thing we think of with sunglasses, these little accessories do a lot more than make you look stylish. They can protect the health of your eyes, but only if you buy sunglasses that protect from ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

Here are 6 things to check the next time you’re shopping for new “shades:”

One: Look for a label that says the lenses block 99 to 100 percent of UV radiation (not the more general “blocks UV radiation” label).

Two: Choose a clear UV coating to boost the level of protection. Avoid mirror coatings and gradient tinting, as these do not add to UV protection.

Three: Darker may not always mean more UV protection. See the first tip about labeling.

Four: Polarized lenses help block glare, but do not add to UV protection. See the first tip about labeling.

Five: Wraparound sunglasses keep the light from shining on your eyes from the sides, offering more protection, so this style is a wise choice to boost UV protection – but see the first tip about labeling to make sure the UV protection is optimal.

Six: Polycarbonate lenses, which are often used in sports-specific sunglasses, are less likely to break and offer 99 percent UV protection. Adding a scratch-protective coating helps protect this investment in your eyes.

Want to know more?

It’s Children’s Eye Health & Safety month. Learn more about protecting your eyes from UV radiation here. Or test your eye knowledge with our online quiz.

Having overall good health is an important part of keeping your eyes healthy. Having a physical exam is the first place to start, and finding the perfect physician for you is as close as a few clicks. Visit to get started. 


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