Sunglasses are an important part of proactively protecting your vision. Not wearing proper sunglasses puts you at higher risk for corneal sunburn, redness and irritation, and long-term issues like macular degeneration, cataracts, blindness, and eyelid skin cancer.
If you have lighter-colored eyes more UV light can pass through your iris so wearing sunglasses is even more important. It’s also important for kids to wear sunglasses because their eyes are still developing.
Choosing the right pair of sunglasses goes beyond style and comfort.
Consider these features to find the type that’s best for you:
- Choose sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection (look for a 100% UVA/UVB protection sticker)
- Darker lenses don’t automatically provide more protection
- Polarized lenses reduce the sun glare and reflection from water and snow
- Gray lenses are good on cloudy and sunny days, provide the best color perception, reduce glare off the water, perfect for all-purpose use
- Blue light blocking brown/amber lenses offer better depth perception, best used in sunny conditions
- Mirrored coatings reduce glare and help prevent eye fatigue
- Yellow lenses provide greater clarity and can reduce eye strain
- Blue lenses improve color perception, reduce glare, good in misty, foggy, snowy weather
- Red/pink lenses enhance visual depth, reduce eye strain, good road visibility
- Wraparound style sunglasses and those with larger lenses provide more coverage
If you wear glasses, you have a few options for protecting your eyes from the sun. Lens enhancements can protect your eyes against the sun, as can light-reactive or photochromic lenses. You can also get prescription sunglasses or clip-on shades that fit over your regular glasses.
*Note, consult your Evidence of Coverage for lens enhancement benefits.
- “UV Protection 101: What You Should Know About Sunglasses”
- “Sunglass Lens Color Guide”
- “Your Lenses Should Fit Your Lifestyle”