What to look for when shopping for shades

SAN ANTONIO – When you shop for sunglasses, you may be thinking style, but Consumer Reports says you should consider eye safety, too. The same rays that cause skin cancer can also damage your eyes, and not all glasses protect the same.

“Sun damage to the eyes accumulates slowly over time, and it could contribute to a higher risk of cataracts or macular degeneration,” said Catherine Roberts, Consumer Reports health editor.

Just as sunscreen shields your skin by blocking UV radiation, sunglasses can shield your eyes from damaging rays.

But with so many choices at a wide range of prices, how do you choose?

“Opt for sunglasses that fully block both UVA and UVB. You can look for a label that says they offer 100% UV protection, or ‘UV absorption up to 400NM,’ which means the same thing,” she said.

If you wear glasses, you can get non-tinted corrective lenses that have UV protection built-in.

Polarized lenses don’t block UV rays on their own, but they canhelp you see better on bright days by reducing glare with light-blocking filters. Because of that, they’re great for boating because they reduce the glare on the water.

And when it comes to style, Roberts says the bigger the glasses the better.

“Larger lenses or wraparound style glasses will help keep the sun from reaching your eyes,” she said.

The larger lenses better protect the sensitive skin around your eyes, an area that can be hard to cover with sunscreen.

When it comes to cost, Consumer Reports says the most effective sunglasses are not necessarily the most expensive. There are plenty of affordable pairs on the market that block 100% of UV rays.

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