5 Things to Know Before Buying Trendy Sunglasses

Sparklers shining in daylight.

Sunglasses made by a famous designer or in a trendy style may accentuate your looks, but they may not protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are five things to know before laying out money for a pair of trendy sunglasses.

  1. Look for UV protection – Exposure to harmful sun rays can cause eye sunburn, vision loss and Eye doctors recommend buying sunglasses with 100 percent UVA/UVB or UV 400 protection. An American Optometric Association survey found that nearly 50 percent of people don’t check the UV rating on their sunglasses. And since there are many false labels on sunglasses, shop at a reputable retailer or eye doctor’s office.
  2. Make sure they cover – The skin around your eyes is thin and tender, making it more susceptible to sunburn. When trying on sunglasses, select a style with large lenses and a frame that wraps around the sides to provide maximum protection for the entire eye.
  3. Kids need them too – When picking out a new pair of sunglasses for yourself, don’t forget about your kids. Kids eyes are more transparent and vulnerable to sunburn. Damage from the sun is cumulative over time. Kids need to wear appropriate sunglasses to protect their eyes from vision problems that can occur with age, such as vision loss, cataracts or even cancer.
  4. Wear on sunny and cloudy days – The Vision Council reports that only 31 percent of Americans always wear sunglasses when outside. It’s important to wear sunglasses on bright, sunny days, especially between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. But eye experts say that sun damage also can occur on cloudy days. So anytime you go outside, wear your sunglasses.
  5. Wear during sports activities – Some people who play outdoor sports, such as soccer or tennis, say it’s difficult to wear sunglasses because they cannot see well enough. But adding a light tint to regular lenses, along with 100 percent UV protection, can enhance vision by blocking shadows and glare.


The Vision Council