HEALTHMATTERSBack to HealthMatters main
Eyes and sunglasses: True or false?
Does fashion or function lead the way when you're shopping for sunglasses? Next time you're searching for shades, look for a pair that protects your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. This quiz can teach you what to keep an eye out for.
True or false: All sunglasses offer equal UV protection.
False. The ability of sunglasses to block UV rays may vary from one pair to the next. For the most protection, look for glasses with a sticker or tag stating they block 100% of UV rays.
True or false. When it comes to sunglasses, bigger is better.
True. Oversized glasses may be best at limiting exposure of the sun's rays to your eyes. And wraparound frames offer added protection. They limit sun exposure from the sides. Wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap and you may get even more protection.
True or false: Sunglasses with good UV protection are always expensive.
False. Don't judge the quality of your glasses by their price tag. What's most important is the extent to which they block UV rays. A relatively inexpensive pair of glasses may do that just as well as more spectacularly priced specs.
True or false: Darker colored lenses offer more protection than lighter colored lenses.
False. Lens colors can vary, but darker lenses do not necessarily do a better job of blocking UV rays than lighter lenses. One thing to keep in mind, however: Gray lenses may make it easier to recognize colors.
True or false: Polarized lenses improve UV protection.
False. Polarized lenses don't reduce UV rays. They reduce glare. That may make it easier to see when you're driving or on the water.
The right sunglasses can be a great tool to protect your peepers from UV rays. But you should take other steps to protect yourself from the sun.
Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology; American Optometric Association; National Eye Institute