Everyone should wear some kind of eye protection from the sun. This is true for all people of all age groups, and for any time of the year, even on cloudy days. Too much exposure of the eyes to the sun’s rays can result in severe damage, for example cataracts, vision loss, or even cancer. So it is important to not only wear sunglasses, but to choose the proper kind.
Luckily, most sunglass manufacturers display the protection the
sunglasses offer from the sun. They do this by illustrating the “UV Protection” percentage, and perhaps “UVA” and “UVB” on their labels. UV stands for Ultraviolet Radiation, and UVA and UVB are different wavelengths of UV.
UV causes skin aging and cataracts, so sunglasses must offer complete protection from it. The best sunglasses offer 99 to 100% protection from harmful UV rays, and so it is prudent to look for sunglasses that offer this degree of safety.
Also important is to get sunglasses that will guard against the sun’s rays from going into the sides of your eyes. Light can sneak in through the sides of some sunglasses if the lenses are too small, causing potential eye damage. But wrap-around types of sunglasses, that go around to the sides of ones head, help defend against that problem.
Sunglasses should not have lenses that are too dark. That is because, besides being important to block the sun’s rays, sunglasses should allow one to see reasonably clearly, especially when driving. Further, dark lenses are not necessarily the best at blocking rays, since the color itself really has nothing to do with UV protection. So it is of the essence to choose a lens color such as green or gray, that will not be too dark to weaken one’s vision.
Finally, don’t be misled into thinking that high-priced sunglasses are best at protecting the eyes from the sun. They may look the coolest, but may not necessarily offer the coolest protection. Then again, cheap sunglasses may offer good protection, but be more susceptible to shattering (besides looking shoddy and second-rate).
It is always best to check the label first to see the UV protection offered, and if the sunglasses feel comfortable and are easy to see from, then they are the ones to purchase. If unsure, it is best to check with your eye professional for further assistance.