It’s common knowledge to lather on sunscreen before going outside to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, but an unfortunately lesser known fact is that UV damage can also occur to your eyes.  Sunglasses are the best means to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet light, and they can leave you looking ‘cool’ at the same time.Sunglasses - UV Protection

UV exposure has been linked to many eye diseases, such as an increased risk of developing cataracts, growths on the eye or full-blown cancers that can devastate your vision.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy lenses to block the rays, a cheap pair of sunglasses may be adequate.  Just make sure the glasses block both UVA and UVB rays.  Extra protection can come from a larger frame or a wrap design, which will give more coverage.

You might also look for polarized lenses, which have the added benefit of blocking the sun’s reflections and decreasing blinding glare.  By blocking light in the horizontal plane, any glare from a non-metallic surface will be filtered out, allowing you to see more – and more comfortably.

Since most sun damage occurs before your 18th birthday, it’s important to make sure your child has proper sun protection.  There are so many children’s sunglasses being sold, with great designs from their favorite movies or TV shows.  Just make sure to see the sticker claiming the UVA and UVB protection.

A common misconception is that the darkness of the lens is indicative of the level of UV protection – a statement that could not be further from the truth.  You may, however, want to choose a lens color based on your activities.  For instance, a gray-tinted lens will decrease the overall light coming in for all colors.  But a brown or amber lens blocks only light in the lower wavelengths, so these lenses are not as dark but they improve contrast.

In the end, just wearing a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes is the smart choice.  It’s easy to spot who is taking their eye health seriously, and looking good at the same time.