7 Tips for Choosing the Best Sunglasses

Certain slices of Americana are just ingrained into our culture. You know, things like mom, apple pie, pizza, and yes, cool sunglasses. Images of famous people like JFK, The Blues Brothers, Tom Cruise, Barack Obama, and others in their favorite shades have helped promote them all over the globe.

Of course, sunglasses do have a more important purpose than letting us channel our inner celebrity. Whether you’re on the road, beach, boat or the slopes, wearing the right sunglasses is a great protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause eye damage, including tumors and other eye diseases that can cause blindness.

Spend your hard-earned dollars wisely. Here are seven tips for buying your next pair of sunglasses from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  1. Look for this tag
    Look for a sticker or tag noting that the glasses block 100 percent of UV rays. About half of sunglass wearers, however, fail to check UV ratings before buying a pair of shades, according to a survey by the Academy.
  2. Go big
    Consider buying oversized or wraparound glasses. The larger the sunglasses, the lesser the risk of the sun damaging your eyes. Don’t let those pesky UV rays sneak in from the side of your glasses!
  3. Darker lenses?
    You might feel like a dapper chap in your darker shades. But darker lenses don’t necessarily block more UV rays.
  4. Don’t worry about the colors
    Sunglasses with amber, green or gray lenses don’t block more sun. The lenses, however, can increase contrast, which might be good for baseball players, golfers and other athletes.
  5.  Cut glare, not UV.
    Polarized lenses cut glare from water, pavement and other reflective surfaces. They don’t offer more protection from the sun. But wearing these lenses while driving or being on the water can make the activities safer or more fun.
  6. Don’t worry about $$
    The best sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money. Cheaper glasses marked as 100 percent UV-blocking can be just as effective as more costly options.
  7. Finally …. Do you wear prescription glasses? Then don’t forget those prescription sunglasses!
Joseph Anthony

Joseph Anthony

A western New York native, Joe has been a marketing communications manager at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for over 10 years. His interests include travel, wine, classic film, hiking and sports. He grew up in the city of Rochester and currently resides with his family in Greece, Monroe County.
Joseph Anthony

2 thoughts on “7 Tips for Choosing the Best Sunglasses

  1. Tyler Meredith says:

    I like what you recommend about choosing glasses that are large and that have proper UV protection. It makes sense that good UV protection is really what matters for eye health when looking at the options because of the damage those rays can do. I’ll have to remember this for my own eyes because I want to prevent all the eye issues I can and choosing some UV protective glasses with my prescription and that cover my eyes effectively could really help.

  2. Callum Palmer says:

    My wife recently asked me for a new pair of sunglasses for her birthday and I had no idea where to start, so thanks for the advice. I’ll admit though, I am surprised that there are so many different ways that sunglasses can protect your eyes for the sun. Considering how sensitive her eyes already are, I’ll have to try and get her some ones that block 100 percent of UV rays.

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