A Close Look at Sunglasses

People may not recognize you behind your fashionable shades—but what’s the real benefit of sunglasses? If you spend time outdoors, your eyes need protection from ultraviolet rays (high-frequency bursts of solar energy) and blue light (high-frequency visible light).

This is especially true for those with light-colored eyes, those who wear glasses, or those who have had cataract or other eye surgery. Sunglasses are also advised for people who are sun-sensitive. They can protect eyes against cataracts, growths on the skin around the eye, and even melanoma of the eye itself.

Look for sunglasses that are labeled: blocks 99% or all UV. Choose gray or brown lenses—other colors can distort color and let in more UV. To check the quality of the lens, hold glasses at arm’s length; look through—image should not distort or bend.If you wear glasses all the time a prescription sunglasses can be made for you. Ask an optician for a recommendation.

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