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How to Pick the Best Sunglasses to Protect Your Eyes

Some people wear them year-round, but many of us break out the sunglasses this time of year, and for good reason! The same harmful rays that cause skin cancer can also damage your eyes. 

TKN reporter Benjamin explains how to pick the right sunglasses to optimize eye protection this summer. Watch our full report below:

Extra Tips

Size does matter

Sunglasses should have the largest lenses possible to protect your eyes from sun damage. Consider buying oversized or wraparound-style sunglasses to limit UV rays from entering the sides of the glasses.

Color doesn’t matter

Sunglasses with colored lenses (such as amber or gray) don’t block out more sun. However, a brown or rose-colored lens can provide more contrast. Athletes who play sports such as golf or baseball often find this contrast enhancement useful.

Mirror finishes are thin layers of metallic coatings on an ordinary sunglass lens. Although they do cut down on the amount of visible light entering your eyes, never assume they will fully protect you against UV radiation.

And again, remember that while very dark-colored lenses may look cool, they do not necessarily block more UV rays.

Price is not related to protection

Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to be safe and effective. Drugstore sunglasses labeled as 100 percent UV-blocking are a better choice than designer store sunglasses with no protection.

Darker sunglasses don’t always mean they offer more UV protection

When looking for sunglasses, don’t be fooled into thinking the darker the lens, the safer they are for your eyes. Only sunglasses with 100% UV protection provide the safety you need.

Do a lens quality check

You can check that the lenses of nonprescription sunglasses are made properly by following these steps: 

  1. Look at something with a rectangular pattern, like a tiled floor.
  2. Hold the glasses at a comfortable distance from your face and cover one eye.
  3. Move the glasses slowly from side to side, then up and down, looking through the lenses.
  4. If the rectangular lines stay straight, the lenses are fine. If the lines are wavy or wiggle (especially in the center of the lens), try another pair.

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