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Your eyes are your windows on the world so it’s important to give them the best care possible. Damage to eyes from UV rays is irreparable and the damage is actually cumulative, which means wearing the right eyeglasses is important for long-term protection - this goes both for sunglasses and prescription glasses. Also, what many people also don’t realise is that children’s eyes are especially vulnerable to UV damage. This means that getting children into the habit of wearing sunglasses from an early age is increasingly important.

Most people wear sunglasses in the summer, but in fact, it is important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays throughout the year. What many don’t know is that eyes are 10 times more likely to sustain UV damage than skin! Because of this, many eye doctors now recommend wearing sunglasses whenever you go out, regardless of the time of year.

Not all lenses are the same! The price of sunglasses or eyeglasses can run from just a few pounds to hundreds of pounds – so, what is the difference? Besides the premium paid for designer brands, the main difference comes from materials used and most importantly, the lenses. When buying sunglasses or prescription glasses, make sure you look at the UVA and UVB protection levels of the lenses. Most lenses now block 99% or 100% of both of these harmful rays, however, some cheap sunglasses do not. To be extra sure, check that the lenses carry a UV standard, such as the EU’s Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF) or America’s National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirement.

One myth is that darker lenses are better than lighter lenses. In fact, lighter lenses can offer just as much protection as darker lenses and there is one pitfall with darker lenses. If you wear sunglasses with dark lenses that do not have proper UV protection, you can seriously damage your eyes. This is because with darker lenses, your eyes will automatically dilate, which means they let in more light. With lighter lenses, your eyes will not dilate as much and in combination with UV protection lenses, you are getting double the protection.

So, make sure you chose the proper eyewear to protect your eyes throughout the year and throughout your lifetime!