UV Protection Sunglasses and Your Eyes: How They Work

Wearing sunglasses on a hot, sunlit day is a natural habit. Nearly everyone knows that spending time out in the sunny outdoors can damage the eyes. Besides, no one likes squinting their eyes and getting headaches later. When buying sunglasses, you should be keen to check if they will work to protect your eyes. The most vital function of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) light.


Types of UV Light


There are two kinds of UV light: UV-A light that causes premature aging and skin cancer and UV-B light that causes sunburn. Both forms have higher energy than the visible light your eyes can see.


Spending too much time in the sun can have severe consequences. Macular degeneration, cataracts, eyelid cancers, and eye tumors can arise from regular sun exposure. Even eye sunburn (photokeratitis) can occur.


A good pair of sunglasses should block out 100 percent UV-A and UV-B rays from entering your eyes.


How UV Protection Sunglasses Work


UV protection sunglasses consist of several layers that guard your eyesight in the sunlight. A few of those layers include:


Anti-reflective (AR) Covering


AR covering is the coat nearest your eyes. It cuts back glare and prevents it from bouncing into your eyes. Back glare is the light that bounces off the back of the sunglass lenses and enters your eye.


Lens With UV Shield


The UV lens shield is the layer that typically sits behind the AR covering. It is filled with invisible dyes to block out unsafe UV rays. These dyes are made from organic colorants and metal oxide pigments.


The UV lens coating is perhaps the most significant feature of good sunglasses.


Polarizing Cover


A polarized covering is a coat that comes after the UV lens shield. It reduces glare from polarized light. That is the light that bounces off flat surfaces when sunlight hits them. Such surfaces include roads, water bodies, and snowy surfaces.


The polarizing cover does not guard your eyes against harmful UV light. But it helps filter and block out reflected sun rays to make outdoor activities like driving safer.


Scratch-resistant Layer


The scratch-resistant layer is a tough and durable synthetic resin that protects the lens surface from wear and tear. It typically follows the polarizing cover.


Mirror Coating


The mirror coat is the first barrier to harmful UV light. It is the outermost cover of your sunglass lenses and contains super-thin reflective particles. These particles divert light away from your eyes. That helps prevent you from squinting in bright settings or experiencing eyestrain.


Are Your Sunglasses Really Shielding Your Eyes?


If you are not sure that your sunglasses are effective, take them to an optometrist who can test them with a photometer. Most optometrists will perform the test for free, and it takes less than one minute.


Sunglasses protect your eyes the way sunscreen protects your skin. Thus, you want to ensure that you have the right pair.


For more on how UV protection sunglasses work to protect your eyes, visit Grove Eye Care at one of our offices in Virginia. You can call (804) 353-3937 to reach our office in Richmond or (804) 888-8998 to reach our office in Midlothian today.

8048888998 8048888999 14431 Suite B Sommerville Court
Midlothian, VA 23113