Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. They serve a huge purpose—they protect your eyes against the sun’s harmful rays. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays could eventually contribute to vision problems later in life, so warding off these harmful effects can help protect your vision. Just like how your skin requires sunscreen, your eyes need protection too. So, when it comes to enjoying the sun, sunglasses are your best option.
Sunglasses should be worn anytime you’re outdoors, regardless of the season. So, even if there is snow, you should wear sunglasses. The white snow will reflect the sun’s rays, which can actually make them stronger. Furthermore, if you are taking a medication that increases sensitivity to sunlight, then you are even more vulnerable.
Look for a scratch resistant polycarbonate plastic lens that is polarized so that it reduces brightness. Polarization does not protect UV rays, but it can improve vision by removing glare.
To test if your sunglasses are good for you, hold them away from your eyes a few inches and look at a square pattern, such as a tiled floor. Close one eye and move the glasses up and down. If the lines between the squares or rectangles squiggle, then you need to keep looking.
Be mindful of any claims that may not appear legitimate. Some brands promise you additional protection, but there isn’t much research behind many of these claims.
Lastly, with or without sunglasses, never look directly at the sun.