Sunglasses 101: What you need to know - FOX 13 News

FOX Medical Team

Sunglasses 101: What you need to know

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ATLANTA -

A new survey shows about 40 percent of Americans, and half of all drivers, don't wear sunglasses. That may be risky in Atlanta since the city is ranked 15th among American cities with highest UV levels.

A good pair of sunglasses can make a huge difference in how your eyes feel. They can cut through the glare, keep you from squinting constantly, and prevent headaches and eyestrain
     
So, how do you find a good pair of sunglasses and what should you look for?

Ansley Eye Care optometrist Dr. Reena Gupta says when it comes to protecting our eyes with sunglasses, we tend to forget about them.  

"It's an accessory that you have to have on you. So, I think that we kind of forget to take them out and use them," said Gupta.

The U.S. Vision Council says while most of us know we need sunglasses, and may even have a pair somewhere. Nearly half of Americans don't wear them regularly. Gupta says sunglasses are just as important as sunscreen because they block out ultraviolet light that can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, even eye cancers. However, there is good news.

"You don't really have to spend a great deal of money on a pair of sunglasses," Gupta said.

The most important thing to look for is UVA and UVB protection. You want a pair that blocks 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays. A good fit is important. If glasses don't fit well, you won't wear them -- think comfortable, coverage, and close to the eyes.

"Ideally, a wrapped pair, or something bigger, to get good coverage so you're getting sun protection," said Gupta.

Polarized lenses can reduce glare, but they don't block ultraviolet light. Lighter shades protect just as well as dark ones, and Gupta says don't forget about kids.
   
"We think of sunglasses as a fashion accessory for adults, but really kids, especially since they spend more time outside, it's really important to make sure they have a pair of sunglasses they're keep on as well.

To pick a color, think about what you're going to use your glasses for. For daily use, Gupta says grey is a good choice. For sports like golf or baseball, go with brown to improve your depth perception. For lowlight, amber and orange lenses are good. If you play tennis, green may be a good choice. However, darker doesn't mean better protection.

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