Sunglasses are an important accessory for the summer. Not only do they keep the blinding sun out of your eyes, sunglasses also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and can be a fun way to let your personality shine through. There is no shortage when it comes to finding places to buy your favorite new pair; but, remember not all sunglasses are created equal.
Do high-end sunglasses protect your eyes any better than gas station glasses?
According to Mei Fleming, OD, high-end sunglasses are going to offer you more options when it comes to protecting your eyes.
Many times, the style and cost of a pair of sunglasses overshadow the primary function—which is to protect your precious eyes. Dr. Fleming explains, too much exposure to UV rays can cause yellow spots on the whites of your eye called a pinguecula. Long-term exposure to harmful UV rays can also cause cataracts and macular degeneration both of which could lead to blurred vision.
When you invest in high-end sunglasses, you’re getting quality that matters. According to Dr. Fleming, many high-end glasses will offer lenses that have polarization which filters out reflected light. You can also get glasses with mirrored coatings which decreases the amount of light that enters the eye. Dr. Fleming further explains, that another feature you’ll find in high-end glasses is an anti-reflective coating on the back of the lenses, which decrease the amount of light that bounces off the back of your lenses and into your eye.
When shopping for sunglasses, the most important feature to keep in mind is full UV coverage. According to Dr. Fleming, you want to look for a sticker that says UV 400 which covers UVA and UVB lights or 100% UV protection.
“But be careful,” Dr. Fleming warns. “Some glasses have stickers on them but don’t cover the full range.”
Just because a pair of sunglasses says, ‘blocks UV rays,’ doesn’t mean it has complete UV protection. Some low-quality sunglasses can have a weak level of protection, while a high-quality pair of sunglasses will give you 100% UV protection.
Whatever your budget is, you can find various quality frames that fit your style and lifestyle at a wide-range of prices on eyeconic.com, where you can also find a connection to a local eye doctor through VSP Vision Care’s network of optometrists. Eyeconic is the only online retailer that allows you to shop for glasses, sunglasses, and contacts using your vision benefits.
Watch Dr. Fleming explain what to look for when buying sunglasses: