Sunglasses for Sun Protection and Safety of Your Eyes

Sun Protection -UV Light the Biggest Danger for your Eyes

Sun Protection - Baby in Sunglasses by Vinvalenti

The biggest factor for sun protection and eye safety is to keep your eyes away from ultraviolet light.   UV exposure hurts your eyes.   UV exposure can contribute to eye diseases like cataracts. 

Ultraviolet light or UV light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than x-rays.   Ultraviolet light is very harmful to the safety of your eyes, even though you cannot see it.   

Thus wearing sunglasses with UV protection when you are outside during the day is necessary for sun protection.  UV light does go through clouds and through windows.  Therefore, it is important to wear sunglasses for sun protection whenever you are in the sun.  This includes wearing sunglasses inside in the sun and outside on a cloudy day.

Check Your Sunglass Labels for UV Sun Protection

When you are selecting sunglasses, check the product label for UV protection details.  You want sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UVB rays and at least 95 percent of UVA rays.   UVA and UVB refer to long and medium wavelengths of ultra violet light.  When it comes to purchasing your next sunglasses, make sure to look out for glasses that block but UVA and UVB.   Do not select sunglasses that are labeled “cosmetic” and those that are missing any details on UV protection.

Sunglass Lens and Tints for Sun Protection

The coatings and tints used on sunglasses will be helpful depending on how you plan to use your sunglasses. The sunglass lens materials serve different purposes.   Again, though the most important criteria for sun protection is to have adequate UV protection in your sunglasses.

Blue blocking lenses are typically yellow or orange.  These lenses are for low light conditions and make objects easier to see when they are far away.  The UV protection should be checked, as blue blocking lenses do not always have appropriate UV sun protection.

In order to reduce glare, lenses that are polarized lenses.  Polarizing a lens does not add UV protection.  Thus, it is important that a UV coating be applied to the lens. 

The clear lenses that change color based on exposure to sunlight are called photochromic lenses.  This type of lens is used in corrective vision glasses.   The glass lenses automatically change based on sunlight levels to reduce glare and increases clarity.  Not all photochromic lenses provide UV sun protection.  Thus, you still need to check the label.   If the photochromic lenses have UV protection, then the advantage is that you can have both glasses and sunglasses in one pair of glasses.   One disadvantage is that it does take time for photochromic lenses to adjust to the light.  

In order to block visible light mirror coatings are often applied.  These coatings do not necessarily block UV radiation.  I know I sound like a broken record but again check the label to make sure you have the correct UV protection.

Polycarbonate lenses are an excellent choice when you consider the overall safety of your eyes.  Polycarbonate lenses are resilient to breaking.  Thus, they offer greater protection than regular glasses in the event of any impact to the lenses.  Most eyeglasses are made with glass or plastic lens material.  These standard materials will shatter upon violent contact.  This can cause serious injuries to your eyes and face.  Polycarbonate lenses are not brittle and are much more resilient to breaking.  The good news is that polycarbonate lenses also provide adequate protection from UV radiation.  These lens offer sun protection for your eyes and are safer especially if you are involved in sports.  Thus, sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses are an excellent choice for you and your family for sun protection. 

The picture in this blog post is Baby in Sunglasses  by Vinvalenti  at    Credit is given here and thus it is used with permission in the Sunglasses for Sun Protection blog post.