Do Sunglasses Really Protect Your Eyes from UV?

Do Sunglasses Really Protect Your Eyes from UV?

If you’ve walked past a store that sells sunglasses, especially drug stores or a designer store, many of them would have a sign that claims these sunglasses are for 100% UV Protection. One might assume that it protects your eyes from the harsh glares from the sun, however, what do these claims actually mean? Most importantly, do they really protect you against UV?

Unfortunately, a pair of sunglasses claimed with UV protection is designed to only block 100% of the harmful UV rays from the front of the lenses. UV rays from sunlight come in all different directions and angles. Studies done by three Japanese researchers in 1999 confirms that between 14% to 45% of UV light is able to reach your eyes due to back and side exposure even when standard sunglasses are used.

Even though the standard sunglasses aren’t able to block the UV entirely from all directions, but they are still great at protecting your eyes from the front. A good pair of UV sunglasses that will significantly reduce the number of UV rays will require an additional anti-reflective (AR) coating. It is always safer to have a pair of good quality sunglasses in hand rather than not wearing any sunglasses at all.

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