When shopping for sunglasses, it’s completely understandable that style ranks highly on your list. After all, you definitely want a pair that looks amazing on you, fits your vibe and goes with pretty much anything in your summer wardrobe.

But don’t let style fool you into getting sunglasses that are more form than they are function. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shades, it’s important to keep eye protection top-of-mind. After all, sunglasses serve as the best defense for keeping ultraviolet (UV) rays from causing short- and long-term damage to your eyes.

To help you find the right shades to protect your eyes from the sun, here are five tips to consider when shopping for sunglasses.

Keep it 100

The most important thing to look out for when buying sunglasses is a sticker or tag that indicates they block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Unfortunately, not all sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays, so if you’re unsure about the level of UV protection your sunglasses provide, feel free to take them to an eye doctor for an evaluation. Many have tools to measure the amount of UV radiation that lenses block.

Opt for polarized lenses

Polarized sunglasses are created to reduce glare by filtering out horizontal rays coming from road surfaces and bodies of water. Essentially, this allows only vertical rays to “enter” through the lenses, resulting in less sun glare. Remember, however, that polarized lenses aren’t meant to provide UV protection, so make sure that the sunglasses you go with offer both.

Bigger is better

The more coverage your eyes get, the better. Wearing bigger lenses means that less sun damage gets through to your eyes. When shopping for shades, consider an oversized or wraparound option. Plus, beyond giving you greater eye protection, they just look super stylish!

Choosing the right tint

When choosing the lens tint of your sunglasses, make sure that your lenses block around 80 percent of transmissible light, but no more than 90 to 92 percent of light. It is also important to note that darker sunglasses do not always mean better eye protection, so make sure to double-check how much light is blocked.

Sports-specific lenses

If you’re planning on participating in sports or other high-impact activities, consider opting for sunglasses that offer both impact resistance and scratch resistance. Polycarbonate lenses are typically the optimal choice as they are lightweight (making them comfortable to wear) and more impact resistant than sunglasses made of glass or other materials.

As a side note, if you’re a parent, it’s essential to make sure that your child’s sunglasses are properly protecting their eyes from UV rays. Children are much more susceptible to the dangers of UV rays than adults and their eyes are not able to block UV rays as well as adults’ eyes can.

Although sunglasses offer a great way for you to protect your eyes when you’re out and about, the best ways to keep your eyes healthy is to get them regularly checked by your eye doctor.

To keep your eyes in great shape this summer (and beyond), contact us today to schedule your eye examination.

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