While sunglasses are often deemed to be no more than a fashion accessory, the impact that they have on your vision is critically important.
The choice of your sunglasses is every bit as important as your choice of sun block for your skin.
The National Eye Institute reports that UV radiation can damage proteins in the lens of the eye and this damage, over time, increases a person's risk for cataracts. UV damage may also increase the likelihood of a person developing macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of age-related vision loss. In addition, eye cancer has been linked to UV damage.
The cost of the sunglasses is not a factor when selecting them. Cheap sunglasses can offer the same protection as those fancy, designer ones. The important thing to look for is a sticker on the sunglasses letting you know that they block 99 to100% of UVA and UVB rays. The size of the lens is also a crucial factor when selecting sunglasses. Look for lenses that block rays from all sides.
Polarization does not offer more protection against the sun, but can be useful on water, snow, or in surroundings with a lot of bounced glare. But be aware that polarized sunglasses may prevent you from seeing an electronic automobile dashboard or your portable phone display. Brown lens color blocks more blue light than gray, provides higher contrast and is also more effective against glare.
The next time sunglasses are on your shopping list, remember to consider your eye health and reach for the ones that will offer the best protection.*