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UV Protection 101: What You Should Know About Sunglasses

With the hotter weather, you may find yourself spending more time outside. To protect you and your family from the elements, sunglasses are a must!  

UV Exposure and Eye Health

Sun damage can be harmful to your eye health and can put you at risk for a corneal sunburn, redness and irritation, and long-term effects like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, blindness, and even eyelid skin cancer.

People with lighter colored eyes have an increased risk for developing eye diseases related to UV exposure because more UV light can pass through the iris. For that reason, people with light colored eyes may also experience more light sensitivity than people with brown eyes.

Sunglasses are also important for kids as their eyes are still developing. Sun exposure from a young age can contribute to the development of eye disease later in life.

Choosing the Right Pair of Sunglasses

While style and comfort play a big role in choosing the right pair of sunglasses, the right lenses can also make a big difference. The first rule of thumb is to always choose sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection; but don’t be fooled, darker lenses don’t automatically offer more protection. Look for the 100% UVA/UVB protection sticker or buy from a reputable retailer like your VSP network eye doctor or

Different lens tints can be beneficial for different activities. Polarized sunglasses can also help reduce glare and reflection off surfaces like water. Popular lens colors like gray and brown each serve a unique purpose. Gray lenses provide the truest color perception and are typically dark enough to feel comfortable in bright conditions, while brown lens tints can offer better depth perception. Learn more about benefits of different lens tints with this helpful lens color guide.

Larger lenses and wraparound style sunglasses also provide more coverage, and help protect the delicate skin around the eyes. They can also help block irritants like allergens from entering your eyes on windy days.

Starting Healthy Habits

Sun protection is important year-round and UV damage is cumulative within your lifetime. Wearing sunglasses daily when you head out the door is a stylish and easy way to support your eye health.

Your Oregon Eye Specialists doctor is also a great resource for questions about sunglasses and protecting your eye health.

Content shared from our partner VSP

Frames and Sunglasses

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