Everyone knows sunglasses make it easier to see on a sunny day, whether out on the road or the water. However, wearing the right sunglasses is also a great defense against ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause short- and long-term eye damage, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
These are the most important factors to consider when purchasing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun:
1. Make it 100 percent. - The single most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses to protect your eyes is a sticker or tag indicating that they block 100 percent of UV rays.
2. Bigger is better. - The more coverage from sunglasses, the less sun damage inflicted on the eyes.
3. Darker lenses don't protect better. - While very dark lenses may look cool, they do not necessarily block more UV rays.
4. Color doesn't matter. - Some sunglasses come with amber, green or gray lenses. They do not block more sun but can increase contrast, which may be useful for athletes who play sports such as baseball or golf.
5. Polarized lenses cut glare, not UV. - Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavement.
6. Cost shouldn't be a factor. - Sunglasses don't have to cost a lot of money to work well. Less expensive pairs marked as 100 percent UV-blocking can be just as effective as pricier options.