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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

How to Choose The Right Sunglasses?

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Aesthetics and personal appeal are important factors to consider when shopping for sunglasses. But the biggest factor to influence your purchase choice should be the eye health benefits. Needless to say, the right pair of sunglasses should provide maximum protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause short- and long-term eye damage.

7 Important Things to Remember When Buying Sunglasses

Everyone knows that on a sunny day, whether we are at the beach or in the city, sunglasses are essential. However, wearing the right kind of sunglasses would be a game-changer!

This is what you have to know:

1. If you do something, do it at 100 percent!

Model with sunglasses

The most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses to protect your eyes is a sticker or label that says they block 100% of UV rays (UV400 Protection):

UV 400 protection sticker

UV400 Sticker Example

However, according to a study by the US National Safety Academy, less than half of people who buy sunglasses bother to check whether the lenses protect their eyes from ultraviolet light. Don't make the same mistake. Make an informative and smart decision instead.

2. The bigger, the better

Woman with big sunglasses

Big sunglasses are awesome! The greater the coverage of the sunglasses, the less sunlight damage to the eyes. For that reason, consider purchasing large-lens sunglasses or curved-lens sunglasses that help reduce UV rays passing through from the sides.

3. Darker lenses do NOT offer better protection

Dark lens sunglasses on a beach

While very dark lenses may look cool, they don't necessarily block more UV rays. There is hardly any correlation between the darker lens tint and ultraviolet light protection. In fact, dark-lens sunglasses can provide better shielding against bright light but that does not mean that the harmful rays are filtered out.

4. The lenses tint does not matter

Hands holding different sunglasses

Some sunglasses have amber, green, blue, or gray lenses. They don't block more sun, but they can increase contrast, which can be useful for athletes who play outdoor sports like baseball or golf.

The color of sunglasses lenses is not of huge importance when it comes to UV protection. If you prefer a specific tint for visual effect and aesthetics, you can choose what you want, as long as you are not sabotaging your eye health with low UV filtering.

5. Polarized lenses reduce glare, not UV

Polarized vs Regular Lenses
Polarized Sunglasses vs Standard Sunglasses

Polarization reduces glare that comes from reflective surfaces such as water or pavement. This is a great feature in sunglasses, which can make specific activities like driving, watersports, and winter sports safer and even more enjoyable. However, please note that polarized lenses don't offer more protection from the sun.

6. Price should not be a factor

Golden Retriever dog with red heart sunglasses

Looking at the price tag is something most people are guilty of when shopping for sunglasses. However, when it comes to your eye health, price should not be a priority. Sometimes it is worth it to pay extra for sunglasses that would provide much-needed sunlight protection.

But that also doesn't mean you have to break the bank and buy the most expensive pair. In fact, sunglasses don't have to cost a ton of money to be effective. There are many affordable UV-blocking sunglasses that can be just as effective and reliable as the costly options with the same UV percent.

7. The aesthetics

sunglasses models

Let's be honest, nobody would buy sunglasses they do not like or that don't complement their facial features, even if the sunglasses offer the highest level of UV protection. This is completely understandable, so nobody expects you to ignore your personal taste, or lower your style expectations. You just need to find a balance between aesthetics and sunlight protection.

The market is flooded with sunglasses options for all budgets with different designs and a variety of frames, lens tints, sizes, materials, coatings, etc. So once you know what you want, what you like, and how much money you are willing to spend on a new pair of sunglasses, simply look for that with high UV protection.

Did you enjoy this article? Leave us a comment down below if you have any questions. Learn more about eye care at our For Patients blog, where we share eye health articles, backed up by aspiring ophthalmology professionals.


All medical facts were checked by Atanas Bogoev M.D.

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