How to Choose Sunglasses

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Sunglasses not only look fashionable, but they also help protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun.

Things You'll Need

  • UV Cards
  • Sunglasses
  • Check labels to make sure the sunglasses provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

  • Look for sunglasses that filter out at least some blue light, which can damage the retina and lead to macular degeneration (vision loss from degeneration in parts of the eye). To make sure, try wearing them outside; a blue sky should appear gray with these on. Also ask about polarization, a type of filtering that helps reduce glare.

  • Choose a lens color based on your preferences and comfort level. Gray doesn't affect color perception; orange-brown lenses are a good choice for those with macular degeneration, since they filter out UV and blue light rays for maximum retinal protection; green lenses distort color less than other shades, such as red or yellow.

  • Opt for lightweight, plastic, shatterproof sunglasses if you're going to be wearing them when playing sports.

  • Purchase sun goggles for total protection of your eyes. These cover a large area and include side shields. As an added bonus, they also fit over prescription glasses.

Tips & Warnings

  • A darker lens does not necessarily indicate better protection, and lighter-tinted lenses offer better visibility. Check labels to find sunglasses that provide the best protection possible.
  • To ensure against mislabeling, you may want to purchase a UV card, a credit card'size device for testing sunglasses. Contact an optometrist, or look for the product online.
  • For added eye protection, wear a hat with at least a 3-inch brim.

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