When it comes to sunglasses, it’s not just about fashion sense (well, it’s a little about fashion). It’s important to know what to look for in a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. But you may have a few questions about coverage. How do I know if my eyes are fully protected? Do I need glasses for UVA and UVB rays? What are polarized glasses? Are glasses from the drug store worse than ones from the eye doctor?
First and foremost, the main thing you need to be mindful of is the label on the sunglasses. Make sure it says 100% UV Protection.
The main thing you want to look for is the label that says it provides 100% UV Protection.
What does that mean?
The sun gives off three different kinds of rays. One of the rays is UVC, which is blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. However, the other two make it through – UVA and UVB rays. While UVA rays may not be as harmful as UVB, they can still be damaging and can penetrate glass. UVB rays don’t necessarily penetrate glass, but they are the most dangerous, and the main reason you need sun protection.
You should invest in a pair of sunglasses that have 100% protection against both UV rays because you don’t want to damage your eyesight.
Keep in mind you can also look for a label that reads UV 400 which will protect you from both sets of rays as well. If you want to increase the protection, consider getting larger sunglasses or choose sunglasses that wrap around. The more coverage the better, and less chance UV rays can damage your eyes.
UV rays can cause both short-lived or long-term damage. They cause wrinkles, eye damage that can lead to vision loss and cataracts and even forms of cancer. Over time, the UV damage can accumulate, so it’s best to start off with sunglasses at a young age.
As long as your sunglasses protect against UVA and UVB rays, your eyes will be protected. Both drugstore and prescription glasses offer 100% coverage. Glasses from your eye provider are generally of higher quality and can be a better fit for your face, but drug store glasses are also a great, cheaper alternative.
Polarized or prescription sunglasses will also not increase your protection but might be nice perks depending on your needs and lifestyle.
Also, just because it’s not summer, doesn’t mean you can put away the sunglasses just yet. In fact, you should never really put your sunglasses away. UV rays can make their way through the clouds. You can also experience glares from various surfaces, including snow. You might think there is no need for sunglasses on a cloudy or cold day, but that’s a myth. Winter is actually one of the most important times to remember your sunglasses because snow can be reflective and blinding to look at.
You should always carry a pair of sunglasses. The amount you spend doesn’t necessarily indicate quality as long as it offers 100% UV protection — that’s what counts.
If you need help picking out glasses or sunglasses, need an eye exam or just have a few questions about eye health, come see us! Don’t hesitate to talk to us and learn more about how you can improve your vision. Just give us a call at (801) 476-0494