How Do Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes From The Sun?

Wearing a pair of sunglasses is a great way to look stylish and summer-ready. But wearing a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection will do more than make you look good, they will protect your eyes from damaging UV radiation so you can enjoy healthier vision for longer.

UV radiation: all you need to know

The sun produces 3 kinds of UV radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is blocked out by the earth’s atmosphere while UVB and UVA make their way into your eyes.

If you are exposed to too much UVB radiation, your corneas can become sunburnt, a condition known as photokeratitis. Your eyes may feel gritty and inflamed, appear red and tear up.

If you are exposed to too much UVA radiation, you may not notice any damaging effects soon after, but in the long term your eye health will suffer. UVA increases your chances of developing macular degeneration, cataracts and eyelid cancers.

All it takes to protect your eyes from all of the above is wearing 100% UV protection sunglasses, which will effectively block out UVA and UVB radiation.

So, if anyone ever asks you “how do sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun?”, you can now clue them in. But better than that, you can also make sure your eyes get the protection they need by making an informed decision when you buy your sunglasses.

Buyer beware

Looks can be deceiving. Just because sunglasses have dark lenses doesn’t mean they can block out UV radiation. For that you need to check that they have an anti-UV coating designed to block out 100% of UVA and UVB.

Wearing a pair of dark sunglasses lacking UV protection won’t just leave you vulnerable to UV damage, but actually makes it more likely. This is because dark lenses cause your eyes to dilate, letting in more harmful UV radiation.

The right kind of sunglasses

To best protect your eyes, make sure the sunglasses you buy:

  • Have 100% UV protection against UVA and UVB
  • Screen out 75%–90% of visible light
  • Fit snugly around your face and ideally are wraparounds to shield your eyes, eyelids and surrounding skin from the sun.

You may also want to consider polarised lenses. The benefits of polarised lenses include reduced eye strain and clearer vision in very bright conditions as they eliminate glare.

Sunglasses to suit you

For sunglasses with 100% UV protection available with different lens tints and coating options, visit Karen Castle Opticians, your opticians in Essex, at either of our branches in Hockley or Thundersley.