Top 5 Tips for Choosing the Right Sunglasses During UV Safety Month

Eyemart Express reminds veterans that not all shades are created equal: Style, color, and tint matter

Just in time for UV Safety Month this July, the VFW’s exclusive eye care provider Eyemart Express is working to raise awareness about the importance of protecting your eyes and the ways you can reduce exposure to UV light. 

Prolonged exposure to UV light increases the risk of developing eye diseases such as cataracts, pterygium (also known as growths on the cornea), and macular degeneration, which causes vision loss, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In addition to avoiding direct sun exposure during summer months, it is important to be mindful of snow blindness, temporary vison loss from overexposure to UV reflections off of water from a lake, ocean, or swimming pool. 

A pair of sunglasses and their shadow“Ultraviolet rays are invisible, but the damage they can cause to your eyes can be irreversible if proactive measures like wearing sunglasses, even on cloudy days, aren’t taken. The easiest way to protect the eyes from UV rays is by wearing sunglasses, but not all sunglasses are created equal,” says Dr. Tom Patera, Eyemart Express Senior Executive Vice President and optometrist. 

Here’s what the experts at Eyemart Express advise to optimize eye protection this summer:

  • Sunglasses Style: Opt for wraparound sunglasses like Denali’s Camper style that will block natural light exposure, or pick sunglasses that are fashionable with oversized lenses such as Elizabeth’s Bea style to ensure your entire eye area is protected.
  • Frame Fit: All 2,000 frames at Eyemart Express stores can be made into sunglasses, so if your current glasses fit you perfectly, buy a second pair with tinted lenses.
  • Polarized Protection: Get additional UV protection from polarized lenses. They are ideal for outdoor activities and road trips on sunny days, assisting with visibility and clarity. Polarized lenses have six layers of protection from the sun, including a 100% UV protection layer.
  • Color Counts: Did you know that the color of your lenses provides benefits for specific activities? Gray is the most universal for outdoor activities like walking or running errands, where yellow is ideal for hiking and cycling, and an amber tint is perfect for water activities. Eyemart Express breaks down the benefits of all 15 available lens colors for you here
  • Touch of Tint: There are three levels of darkness to a lens available for sunglasses. A Level 2 with 50% shade intensity or Level 3 that provides a 75% shade intensity are best. 

No matter what your plans are this summer, visit an Eyemart Express store to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. All VFW members get 20 percent off all sunglasses, glasses, lenses, and accessories, with a valid membership card. Find the nearest store to you here.