Woman in a park wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

UV Protection: Your Sunglasses Q&A

Today, June 27th, is National Sunglasses Day, a perfect reminder that protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is crucial for maintaining eye health, no matter the season.

Why is it important to wear sunglasses with proper UV protection?

Proper sun protection reduces the risk of eye cancers, pterygium, and photokeratitis (a sunburn on the front surface of the eye). UV protection can also slow the progression of cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, larger sunglass frames or those that fit close to the face can help prevent skin cancers around the eyes. Complementing sunglasses with a wide-brim hat further enhances protection.

What is proper UV protection?

When choosing sunglasses, it's essential to ensure they offer adequate UV protection. While stylish options are plentiful, make sure your sunglasses protect against harmful UV light. Consult with your optician, an expert in lens design, to select the right prescription or non-prescription lenses. Look for sunglasses labeled as providing 100% UVA & UVB protection or 100% UV400 protection for optimal safety.

What are polarized sunglass lenses?

Polarized sunglass lenses significantly enhance vision by reducing glare. When light rays scatter off surfaces, visibility can become tricky. Polarized lenses block horizontal light rays while allowing vertical rays to pass, resulting in clearer and crisper vision. These lenses are particularly beneficial for activities like fishing or sailing, as they reduce the glare off the water, allowing you to see underneath the surface. However, polarized lenses can make LCD screens appear dark, posing challenges when using electronics.

What are photochromic lenses?

Photochromic lenses are versatile lenses that transition from clear to dark when exposed to UV light, providing 100% UV protection. They quickly darken outdoors and revert to clear indoors after a few minutes. These lenses offer a convenient solution for those who need sun protection without switching between prescription glasses and sunglasses.

What age should my child start wearing sunglasses?

Children should start wearing sunglasses as early as possible to protect their developing eyes from UV damage. Many brands offer stylish and high-quality sunglass frames for all ages, from newborns to teenagers. For children who wear prescription glasses, consider separate prescription sunglasses or photochromic lenses for comprehensive protection.

Do contact Lenses provide UV protection?

Some prescription contact lenses offer UV protection, shielding the eyes from harmful rays. However, the white of the eye and the eyelids remain exposed. Thus, wearing sunglasses in conjunction with UV-protective contact lenses is still recommended for complete protection.


Consult with your optician to select the right lenses that fit your lifestyle and eye health needs. Whether you opt for polarized lenses for enhanced clarity or photochromic lenses for adaptive sun protection, prioritize eye safety. Your eyes deserve nothing less than the best care and protection against harmful UV rays.

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