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Why Wear Sunglasses?

Enjoy your summer and keep your eyes safe by choosing the appropriate sunglasses for maximum UV Protection. In this blog post we’ll tell you why its important to wear the proper sunglasses and how to choose the best pair to keep your eyes healthy!

3 Types of UV Radiation:

Most people are aware of how harmful UV radiation is to the skin. However, many may not realize that UV radiation can harm the eyes, and other components of solar radiation can also affect vision.

There are three types of UV radiation. UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not present any threat. However, UV-A and UV-B radiation can have long- and short-term negative effects on the eyes and vision.

It is not clear how much exposure to solar radiation will cause damage. Therefore, whenever you spend time outdoors, wear quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and a hat or cap with a wide brim. Also, certain contact lenses can provide additional UV protection.

How to Choose Sunglasses:

To provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should:

  • Block 99 to 100% of UV A and UV B radiation. However, fewer than half of people buying sunglasses bother to check whether the lenses protect the eyes from ultraviolet light.

  • Darker doesn't necessarily mean more UV protection. While very dark lenses may look cool, they do not necessarily block more UV rays. Make sure the lenses are free from distortion and imperfections.

  • The more coverage from sunglasses, the less sun damage inflicted on the eyes. Consider buying over-sized glasses or wrap around-style glasses, which help cut down on UV entering the eye from the side.

  • Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavement. This does not offer more protection from the sun, but can make activities like driving or being on the water safer or more enjoyable.

  • Color of lenses is a personal preference. Some sunglasses come with amber/ brown, gray, green or yellow lenses.

Gray lenses reduce the maximum amount of visible light and allows for true color recognition. Good for bright sunny days and heavy glare situations. Best uses include driving, deep-water fishing and general use.

Brown or Amber lenses provide excellent contrast and improve visual acuity and depth perception. Good for bright sunny and varying conditions. Reduces blue light. Best for driving, golfing and shallow water fishing.

Green lenses has slightly better contrast than the gray colors, but is not considered a high contrast lens. Green maintains true color balance and is a good choice for varying light conditions. Used for tennis driving and golf, as well as an all-purpose color.

Yellow lenses provide the maximum light transmission of any polarized lens. Increases contrast and filters out some blue light. Used in low light conditions such as overcast or cloudy days. Popular among shooters, hunters.

  • 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.

If you participate in potentially eye-hazardous outdoor work or sports, your sunglass lenses should be made from polycarbonate or Trivex material. These lenses provide the most impact resistance.

Don't forget protection for children and teenagers. They typically spend more time in the sun than adults.


Dr. Amanda Hickman is the owner and founder of St. Tammany Eye Care. She is committed to educating the community about eye health and strives to help every patient reach their optimum visual potential.

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