Time to replace your sunglasses? 6 tips to protect your eyes

woman wearing funky sunglasses How old are your sunglasses? If you wear them regularly and they’re more than two years old, you may need a new pair. This advice comes from researchers who are working to establish international guidelines that help consumers understand how long their sunglasses can effectively protect against UV exposure.

According to the study, UV protection in sunglasses may decline with wear, but there’s no uniform standard defining when that protection diminishes. Current industry testing doesn’t match how actual sun exposure affects the ability of the lenses to filter UV rays. One fact is clear — overexposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, damage to the retina, growths on the eye, skin cancer on and around the eyelids, and loss of vision.

Use these tips to protect your eyesight:

  1. Choose sunglasses labeled with a UVA/UVB rating of 100 percent to provide the most protection.
  2. Wear sunglasses every day, even on cloudy days.
  3. Don’t assume dark sunglasses offer more UV protection. Many sunglasses with colored or tinted lenses offer the same UV protection as darker-tinted varieties.
  4. Select large or wraparound-style frames. They offer more UV protection because they cover the entire eye, allowing less light to come in.
  5. Use a wide-brimmed hat with your sunglasses.
  6. Ask an optician to check the UV protection of your sunglasses every year.

August is National Eye Exam Month. If you have questions about your vision or eye health, schedule an appointment with a provider at Cheshire Medical Center. Our providers recommend a baseline eye exam before preschool — and continuing eye exams as recommended by your health care provider.