Sunglasses have been synonymous with the idea of “cool” for a long time and it isn’t hard to imagine why. It is hard to picture sunglasses without thinking about Tom Cruise rocking aviators while riding on a motorcycle. Sunglasses have been an important fashion accessory in our society for a long time now, but it is important to make sure your sunglasses aren’t just form and have some function as well.

Picking the right pair of shades can help to reduce wrinkles on your face from increase sun exposure as well as protect your eyes and prevent them from getting red and dry. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause permanent damage to your eye health if not blocked by UV protective eyewear.

Yes, you read that correctly, UV eye protection is important when picking out those slick looking shades. As mentioned above, the suns UV radiation can cause irreparable damage to your eyelids, cornea, lens and many other areas related to your eye. There is also plenty to data to show that excessive UV radiation exposure to your eyes can increase your risks of developing cataracts, pterygium and macular degeneration.

You might be asking yourself, “how do I know if the sunglasses I want block those UV rays?” Well here is a little buyers guide to help you pick out sunglasses that not only look good, but also protect your vision:

  • Make sure they are listed to block 99 – 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays
  • Screen 75 to 90 percent of visible light
  • Ensure that the lenses are free from distortions and imperfections before you buy them
  • For the most accurate color recognition possible, we recommend picking gray tone lenses

Despite popular belief, the level of darkness your lenses provide have nothing to do with how much UV rays are blocked. It is also recommended that you consider choosing wraparound and/or close-fitting sunglasses to give your eyes the maximum amount of UV ray protective coverage.