Everyone knows that UV radiation causes skin damage.  But those same rays can cause cataracts, cancer of the eyelids, benign growths on the eye’s surface, and snow blindness.

Beach dwellers and skiers are at particular risk.  UV radiation reflects off surfaces such as snow, water, and white sand.  The risk of ocular damage from UV radiation is particularly high on the beach, the waves, and at the ski slopes.

People need to wear sunglasses outdoors when working, driving, playing sports, or running errands.  At a minimum, lenses should:

  • Block at least 99% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  • Screen out 75% to 90% of visible light.
  • Be gray for proper color recognition and free of distortion and imperfection.

Buying Sunglasses — What to Look for:

  • Check lenses to be sure the tint is uniform
  • Ensure that lenses are distortion free.
  • Try them on in front of a mirror. If you can see your eyes easily through the lenses, they probably don’t block enough light. Note: this test doesn’t apply to photo chromic (light-sensitive) lenses.