Sure, sunglasses are fashionable, worn by celebrities, and help us avoid unwarranted eye contact. But the ability to block light that can damage your eyes is probably the most important feature of those shades.

Do you know if your sunglasses are the best for keeping your eyes healthy? Take a look and see if you’re wearing a pair that is helping or hurting your eyes.

UV Protection

Ultraviolet rays are a type of light ray beamed out by the sun, and this type of light can be harmful to parts of the eye. Check to see if you have a pair of sunglasses that filters out UV rays, or specifically both UVA and UVB radiation.

Several manufacturers make sunglasses with 99% or 100% UV blocking lenses because they know UV light has been linked to serious eye disease, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium, a tissue growth that can result in cancer.

Polarized Lenses

Another way to cut out some of the harmful sunlight is to get sunglasses with polarized lenses. Polarized sunglasses have an added chemical in the lenses that blocks half the incoming light, resulting in a dimmer but crisper view.

These lenses help with eyestrain from the glare that comes from reflective surfaces like windows and water.

Large Frames

If you’re looking for effective sunglasses, the more lens, the better. Larger frames make it harder for light to reach your eyeball, so if you can opt for a pair with wide lenses, go for it.

Many sunglasses styles today are returning to the large looks of the 1960s and 1980s. With names like XXL Flattop, Butterfly Frames and Shield Lenses, these sunglasses look cool, sound cool and help keep your eyes safe. It’s a win-win-win.

Use Them Frequently

The easiest advice we can give: use your sunglasses often. Whenever you’re outside on a bright day, you should be wearing your sunglasses. Even if there’s overcast in your area or you’re around a lot of white – like sand or snow – put on those shades.

Originally posted 2018-03-13 20:24:27.