Darker sunglasses don't provide better sun protection

June 29, 2013 at 6:36 PM
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NEW YORK, June 29 (UPI) -- Many people believe darker sunglasses provide better protection against the sun but that is not the case, a U.S. eye expert says.

Eye experts at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center said when buying sunglasses, check the ultraviolet protection level. UV protection and sunglasses are recommended year-round during daylight hours. Even on cloudy days, the UV index can be dangerously high.

Sunglasses should provide more than 95 percent UV protection and, ideally 100 percent -- sometimes labeled as UV400 on the glasses.

The experts also recommended to:

-- Choose sunglasses that wrap all the way around the temples, and/or wear a hat with at least a 3-inch brim that can block the sunlight from overhead.

-- Wear shades over contact lenses. People who wear contact lenses that offer UV protection should still wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are helpful for preventing the drying effect most contact lens wearers get, which is caused by wind.

-- Buy shades for children. Children's eyes are not able to block UV rays as well as adults. For the best protection, consider UV-protected sunglasses for your children.

-- Remember small infants should always be shaded from direct exposure to the sun.

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