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Sunglasses are important for more than looks!

When most people think about sun-related damage, they think of damage to their skin – but the sun also damages your eyes!

A good pair of sunglasses protect your eyes from damage caused by the sun that could

  • cause cataracts
  • increase your risk of macula degeneration
  • cause photokeratitis, which can cause blotchy vision or temporary blindness
  • eye cancer

When light reflects off water and car windshields the damage can be greater, plus wind and sand can easily affect your eyes.

You can protect your eyes from this type of damage by simply wearing a good quality pair of sunglasses – not all sunglasses are made equal.

It doesn’t matter how dark they are, or the colour of the lenses, and price is not an indicator either. The most important thing is that your sunglasses block UVA and UVB rays and reduce glare.

You can check if your sunglasses are offering you protection.

1. Polarised glasses offer glare protection

Put on your sunglasses and rotate your phone while looking at the screen.  If your phone turns completely black, your sunglasses are polarised.

2. Larger frames also offer protection 

Sunglasses that wrap around the side of your face reduce sunlight reaching your eyes.

3. Anti-glare coating on the back of the lens

This stops glare reflecting into your eye and is a good option to have applied to your sunglasses if you spend a lot of time outside or are sensitive to light.  Usually only glasses ordered from an optometrist will have this protection.

4. Prescription sunglasses provide clear protected vision

Your sunglasses can have your individual prescription so you can be protected from the sun and still see clearly in the distance and up close without needing to change glasses.

5. Cancer Council recommended

The Cancer Council recommends that your sunglasses are Category 3 or higher for maximum protection.