There is no government regulations for the classification of sunglasses. That means a manufacturer can misrepresent how much protection their sunglasses offer; and, unfortunately, consumers sometimes assume all sunglasses have protection if they are darker.
Dr. Stephen Trokel, an ophthalmologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, advises that we buy sunglasses from reputable companies to ensure that they block both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound sunglasses and those with large temples are a good idea for side protection.
Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement; their lenses block harmful UV rays that, in severe cases, can cause permanent damage to the eyes in the form of cataracts, pterygium and possibly retinal degeneration.
Here are two things you should be aware of:
- If you have blue or green eyes, wear darker shades
- If you wear contacts use sunglasses to keep them from drying out
So, go enjoy the summer sun but always remember to protect one of your most important assets – your eyes.