These reduce glare at the beach, in the snow, or out on the water. But they don’t take the place of UV protection.
You might see better through them when there’s tons of light around. But they can make it harder to see things like computer screens, smartphones, or dashboards.
Darkness and Color
Just because a lens is almost black doesn’t mean it blocks UV rays. So again, read that label.
Your pupil, the black dot at the center of your eye, controls how much light gets in. When you wear darkened lenses, the pupil opens more to let in more light. If your sunglasses aren’t rated to block UV rays, you might let even more into the back of your eye.
What’s best: Shatterproof glass? Plastic? Some newfangled polycarbonate material? Again, it’s a matter of taste. How well they help you see matters a lot, too. Some lenses, especially the more curved ones, can cause distortion. But that’s not always the case.
How to Choose Sunglasses
“If you’re stopping by the gas station on the way to the lake to pick up sunglasses, you’re more likely to have something of lesser quality,” Horn says. But a higher price tag doesn’t always equal great image quality, he adds.
Sunglasses for All
When you pick out your new shades, remember this: Get some for the kids you know. And be sure they wear them, sunny or notA 2014 survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that only 32% of parents make their kids wear sunglasses that are rated to block UV light.
“Whenever you’re thinking, ‘Hmmm, I should be using sunscreen,’ you should be wearing sunglasses,” too, Bishop says. “As a parent, you should be aware that [kids] start accumulating that sun damage just as soon as there’s exposure. Kids wearing sunglasses is an important thing.”
Plus, it’s a pretty cool look.