If you wear sunglasses every time you go outside on a hot summer day, you might think that as long as the lenses have a dark tint, your eyes are protected from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Well, that’s not necessarily true. Joel H. McGahen OD, a local premier provider of prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, explains further.
What You Need to Know About Dark Sunglasses
There’s no relationship between the tint of sunglass lenses and UV protection. More often than not, the color or the intensity of the shade is indicative of the type and amount of visible light the sunglasses are able to block. For instance, lighter amber tints enhance contrast, while darker shades of the same tint minimize glare.
It is also worth noting that your eyes might be at greater risk if you wear darker sunglasses. When you go out on a bright day while wearing them, your pupils begin to dilate. The amount of light entering through your eyes is more than when you’re not wearing sunglasses. So, if you love sunglasses with heavily tinted lenses, make sure they are UV-protective.
How to Tell if Your Sunglasses Are UV-Protective
An effective pair of sunglasses are ones that protect against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. To find out if yours have this capability, check the label. If it says UV 400, it means it provides 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, which are the harmful types of UV radiation. If there isn’t a label but you still want to know, get in touch with your optometrist or any eye care professional to have your sunglasses tested.
What to Look for in UV-Protective Sunglasses
If your own pair of sunglasses doesn’t provide enough UV protection, you may consider getting a new pair. Make sure to choose the wraparound frames — these will protect your eyes against UV rays coming from all angles. The configuration of these frames also keeps the wind from drying out your eyes whenever you’re outside. Consider larger lenses as well. They should have special coatings that help absorb UV radiation. For your new sunglasses to be UV-protective, they must block up to 90% visible light and offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.
If you’re looking for a qualified eye doctor in Chambersburg, PA, turn to Joel H. McGahen, OD. We offer quality eye care services, including routine examinations and vision correction services. Call us today at (717) 264-4012 or fill out our contact form to set an appointment.