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The Skinny on Sunglasses

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There are plenty of misconceptions about sunglasses. We’d like to clear a few of them up.

MYTH #1: All sunglasses provide ultraviolet (UV) ray protection.

Truth is, some sunglasses are deficient or provide no UV protection at all. Make sure lenses are rated UV400 or higher, which block out 99.9 percent of UV light (UVA and UVB).

MYTH #2: The darker the lens, the more UV protection you have.

UV protection is determined by either a lens treatment or the type of plastic polymer of the lens. The degree of lens tint has no bearing on UV protection.

MYTH #3: As long as your lenses provide 100-percent UV protection, you’re set.

Some sunglasses allow too much UV light to enter the eyes from the side, top, and/or bottom of the lenses. Wraparound sunglasses are a good solution.

MYTH #4: Sunglasses can “expire.”

Currently, there is no evidence that UV protection diminishes over time. An accumulation of scratches, however, can distort vision and cause eye strain.

MYTH #5: You don’t need sunglasses on cloudy days or over the winter.

UV light can be just as intense (or more so) during these times. Wear your sunglasses anytime you’re outdoors during daylight hours.

If you need a new pair of sunglasses, come check out the efficient and stylish selections we carry at our office.


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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