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A great pair of sunglasses is integral to pretty much every outfit during the summertime. Whether you’re spending the day by the beach, on a hike or just running errands around town, sunglasses are so much more than a fashionable accessory.
Did you know that the sun’s harmful UV rays can seriously damage your eyes? According to the World Health Organization, the sun can cause problems like photokeratitis, photo conjunctivitis, cataracts (which is the leading cause of blindness in the world) and even cancer of the eye.
With that reality in mind, it’s high time you ditch your cheap shades for sunnies that have UV protection. And if you want to go the extra mile, you may want to opt for polarized lenses.
UV protection “means blocking the ultraviolet light from reaching your eyes. Just as sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV damage, UV glasses block most of the ultraviolet rays reaching your eyes,” says Frames Direct. UV protection is critical if you want your sunglasses to do more than look good, and polarization takes it a step further.
According to VSP Vision Care, “sunlight reflecting off smooth water, snow or flat roads can create glare which is not only annoying but can often be dangerous. Blinding sun glare can cause accidents, snow blindness and can even sunburn your eyes. Long-term exposure to sun glare has been known to cause cataracts. Thankfully, polarized lenses can shield you against the dangers of intense glare.”
Polarized lenses can block you from that danger by reducing glare and making the images you’re seeing appear sharper and clearer. They can also improve your comfort and clarity. But how?
Essentially, they help to filter and stop harmful light glare from being reflected directly into your eyes. Glare is usually horizontal light and these special lenses block that light with a vertical filter.
It’s important to note that just because sunglasses are polarized, it doesn’t mean they have UV protection and vice versa, so be sure to read the fine print on your next pair. Keep scrolling to shop seven pairs of sunglasses we love (from brands like Ray-Ban and DIFF) that are polarized and have UV protection.
Shop: Ray-Ban Aviator Classic, $204
Shop: Knockaround Black Moonshine, $20
Shop: SUNGAIT Vintage Round Sunglasses, $13.59 (Orig. $15.99)
Shop: DIFF Ruby 54mm Polarized Sunglasses, $85
Shop: Ray-Ban Hexagonal Flat Lenses, $204
Shop: Harlem Polarized Browline Sunglasses, $12.95
If you liked this story, you might like to shop other affordable shades from Amazon.
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