Don’t be in the dark when it comes to choosing the best sunglasses for protecting your eyes from sun damage. Here are five things to look for in a pair of sunglasses:
- Pick a pair that offers the most protection. Look for labels that say the lenses block out 100 percent of UV radiation.
- Find the right fit and frame. You may be less likely to wear glasses that feel uncomfortable. And when glasses are too small, they can let sunlight sneak around the sides. Buy oversized or wraparound frames.
- Look for the right lenses. Polarized lenses deflect glare from surfaces such as water and pavement, but often don’t offer UV protection – make sure you pick a pair that does. Polycarbonate plastic lenses provide adequate UV protection and are up to 10 times less likely to shatter. Photochromic lenses are also a good choice because they block glare and UV radiation while maintaining visual sharpness.
- Consider the color for contrast. Some sunglasses come with various colored lenses. They do not block more sunlight but can increase contrast, which may be useful if you play sports such as golf or tennis. Try on different pairs and see which ones are best suited for you.
- Don’t choose by cost. Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money to work well. Less expensive pairs labeled 100 percent UV-blocking can be just as effective. Choose protection over appearance.
In addition to sunglasses, wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades your face. This is especially important if you’re spending hours at the pool, on the lake, hiking or anywhere where you’ll be in the sun for a long time. Don’t forget your sunscreen, too. And try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.