AARP Health / Dr. Ming Wang

How Sunglasses Can Protect Your Eyes

May 15, 2019


We reach for sunscreen because we know it’s necessary for protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. But when we grab a pair of sunglasses, we may be thinking more about the way they look than about how important they are for protecting our eyes.

“Many patients underestimate how much UV rays can pose a significant risk to their vision,” says Samuel Pierce, an optometrist in private practice in Trussville, Ala., and president of the American Optometric Association (AOA).

In fact, a survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that fewer than half (47 percent) of Americans check the UV ray protection level before buying sunglasses. Here’s how to get smarter about shades.

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