What to Look For
There are two areas to consider when determining eye protection from sunglasses. You must consider how much the sunglasses lens block harmful ultraviolet light, and how much the fit of the frame blocks the sunlight. An appropriately fit sunglasses frame physically blocks a large amount of ultraviolet light from the eyes.
A common problem when shopping for a protective pair of sunglasses is to sacrifice the protective quality of the lenses and the physical fit of the frame because you like how the sunglasses look. Having a good-looking pair of sunglasses is important, but with the proper background knowledge it is possible to have both.
Where to Buy
One way to avoid the pitfall of sacrificing quality for looks is to shop at an optometrist or ophthalmologist's office where they have trained ophthalmic technicians available. They can help you find the appropriate pair of sunglasses that will provide the quality and cosmetic appeal that you are looking for. Another benefit to buying at an eye doctor's office is that, in many states, you do not have to pay sales tax on the sunglasses.
A good pair of sunglasses may cost $10 to $30 at a convenience store or large chain store. Many of those sunglasses will provide the necessary ultraviolet light protection. A pair of name-brand sunglasses will provide appropriate ultraviolet light protection and many options for a frame to fit your facial contours. These sunglasses will generally be priced from $100 to $300.
Polarized lenses are an option that many sunglasses lenses offer. Polarized sunglasses lenses help eliminate glare from horizontal surfaces, such as the road or a body of water. This helps to eliminate eye fatigue, and it can help improve the quality of your vision. Nonpolarized lenses still reduce the total amount of light getting into the eye. Therefore, they still have a protective effect from ultraviolet light.
If you plan to purchase a high-quality, more costly pair of sunglasses, you need to protect them. For those who enjoy boating or fishing, a floating strap that attaches to the sunglasses helps. Also, a solid case for the sunglasses prevents the sunglasses from getting damaged when you are not wearing them.
Ultraviolet light is a type of invisible light that can cause eye damage while outdoors. According to the American Optometric Association, for a pair of sunglasses to adequately protect the eyes from ultraviolet light, they must filter at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB. Those are the two classes of ultraviolet light that are dangerous to your eyes.