There are many reasons why people wear sunglasses. Some wear them just to look cool—and they do. Others wear them so they can see clearly when driving. The primary reason you really should be wearing sunglasses, however, is to keep your eyes healthy. Too much sunlight increases your risk of ocular melanoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and an array of other conditions, and sunglasses are the best way to protect yourself. However, there are some guidelines you will need to follow when picking sunglasses with health as your goal.
1. Look for 100% UV protection.
UV rays are the component of sunlight that you need to be worried about. Not all sunglasses block 100% of UV rays; many made for cosmetic reasons do not. Look for lenses that are specifically stated to block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. No, polarized lenses are not the same as UV-blocking ones. You may need to buy your sunglasses from an optician's shop or dedicated eyewear store to find this feature as many department store brands don't offer sunglasses with as much protection.
2. The bigger, the better.
Sunlight has a habit of sneaking in around the edges of smaller sunglasses. So as cool as those Matrix-style, rectangular lenses may look, they are not the best choice for eye health. Look for large lenses. Aviator-style sunglasses are a good option, as are the big, deep rectangular shapes.
3. Make sure they're comfortable.
For sunglasses to be effective, you have to wear them. You're only going to want to wear them if they are comfortable. Try sunglasses on before buying to ensure they don't pinch or rub anywhere. You should strongly consider seeing an optician and letting them professionally adjust them so they fit perfectly and you're happy to wear them more often.
4. Look for amber lenses.
Amber lenses are a great choice because they create more contrast and make it easier to see clearly through your sunglasses. This means you are less likely to have to remove them to read or look at something closely, which means your eyes will be more thoroughly, consistently protected.
When shopping for sunglasses, make sure you choose ones that are great for promoting eye health. Amber lenses, larger lenses, a good fit, and 100& UV protection will go a long way towards making sure your eyes stay healthy for a good, long time. Compare your options before grabbing your next pair of shades.