Are Your Sunglasses Actually Protecting Your Eyes?

With the brighter British weather fast approaching, many of us are beginning to wear our sunglasses as, not only do they allow us to make the most of the outdoors, they make for a great fashion staple on sunnier days. However, not all sunglasses offer the same level of protection from the sun’s UV rays, and though you may like the style and appearance of your shades, they may not be helping to prevent sun damage and its effects on your health.

Why You Need UV Protective Eyewear

UVA and UVB rays are invisible ultraviolet rays contained in sunlight and are a form of radiation which causes sunburn. Although it’s widely known that we need to protect our skin from the effects of these rays, it’s been found that 50% of us don’t wear sunglasses to protect our eyes. A lot of UV light can be absorbed by your eyes without any damage, however exposing them to high levels of UVA and UVB, or cumulative exposure, could contribute to worsened eyesight with age or the development of cataracts. Our eyes are up to 10 times more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays than our skin, so it’s vital that we protect them properly with UV protective sunglasses!

When to Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection

Although sunglasses are a great form of protection to help you see clearly against the glare of the sun, sunglasses should be worn when you’re outside throughout the year, even if it’s cloudy. UV rays are always present, even though we can’t see or feel them, but their strength is only lessened by around 10% in cloudy weather. You may also benefit from sunglasses during the morning or in the evenings, where reflective surfaces could cause damage to your eyes.

What to Look For

When selecting your sunglasses, make sure that they have 100% UVA and UVB protection, in order to prevent damage from the sunlight. Cheaper sunglasses won’t always have this full level of UV protection or comply with EU quality protection standards, so it’s best to invest in a higher quality pair that can offer you sufficient protection for the long-term.

Remember also that darker tinted lenses do not offer more UV protection, even if they can help you see more clearly in brighter weather. Darker lenses without 100% UV protection could also contribute to more sun damage, as the darker filter will allow your pupils to open up and let more UVA and UVB into the back of your eye. We offer a wide range of fully UV protective sunglasses from designer brands with different coloured lenses to suit your style, keeping your eyes safe whilst you make the most of the outdoors.

For anyone who particularly enjoys outdoor or sports activities such as skiing or hiking where there’ll be increased risk of sun exposure or glare, polarised sunglasses are specially tinted to block intensely reflected light. Ensure that they too have 100% UV protection, as you could be at a higher risk of damage to your eyes. If you’d like to see our range of designer sunglasses and sunglasses suitable for extreme sports, almost all of our sunglasses are available in prescription including single vision, bifocal and Varifocal lenses.

Need help choosing the right sunglasses? Feel free to call us on 01905 613020 to book an appointment, or visit our store.