Sunglasses keep your eyes comfortable and can make a fashion statement. But did you know sunglasses with UV protection can help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, eye growths and cancer?

UV rays are a type of radiation that comes from the sun. UV radiation is present even on cloudy Pacific Northwest days. To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses with UV protection whenever you’re outside. 

The best UV protection sunglasses are large enough to cover your eye area and wrap around the sides.

How do I find sunglasses with UV protection?

Look for a label that says “99 percent UV protection,” “100 percent UV protection” or “UV 400 protection.”

Buyer beware: some manufacturers simply apply a UV lens coating that can chip or wear off with time. In high-quality UV sunglasses, the UV protection is incorporated into the lens so it won’t wear off.

Do kids need sunglasses with UV protection?

Yes. Kids’ eyes are especially vulnerable to UV damage, and children with light-colored eyes are at higher risk. Your child should have at least one pair of sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection. Our Lake Oswego Sight Shop has a wide range of children’s eyewear, including sunglasses.

Everyone is at risk for UV eye damage, but some adults are at higher risk, too. If you wear contact lenses, don’t assume your eyes are protected. Some contact lenses have UV protection, but not all of them.

How can I tell if my current sunglasses have UV protection?

Ask an optician. A Sight Shop optician can check your current sunglasses.

Do polarized sunglasses have UV protection?

Not necessarily. The material used to make polarized lenses is different from UV protection material. Everyone needs UV protection, but polarized lenses are more of a personal preference than a health necessity.

Do mirrored sunglasses and “blue blockers” have UV protection?

Mirrored coatings, blue blockers and infrared-blocking sunglasses don’t necessarily block 100 percent of UV rays. Learn more about recommended sunglass types.

UV protection sunglasses don’t have to be expensive. Visiting a licensed optician can help you find the best UV sunglasses for you. Visit The Sight Shops for sunglasses to fit every budget and lifestyle need.

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