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You might be spending more time outside this summer than usual, especially since many inside activities have been moved outside to lower the spread of coronavirus.

Because of that, it’s more important than ever for you and your loved ones to wear high-quality sunglasses that block 100% of both the sun’s Ultraviolet A and B rays (UV-A and UV-B rays).

Why? Just as the sun’s rays can cause your skin to burn, they can also damage your eyes and the skin around the eyes. Sunglasses that protect you against 100% of the sun’s harmful rays can make a big difference over the years, minimizing lifetime UV exposure to your eyes.

We thought the sunny weather outside presented the ideal opportunity to debunk some of the myths around sunglasses:

Myth 1: You don’t need sunglasses on cloudy days.

False! When the original inventors and marketers of sunglasses named them, it might’ve been more appropriate to call them Outdoorglasses, because you should wear them every time you go outdoors, not only when it’s sunny. In fact, in some conditions on cloudy days, there is an even higher exposure to the sun’s burning UV rays because of a scattering effect of the light. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80% of UV rays penetrate cloud cover and reach the Earth’s surface on cloudy days.

Verdict: Wear your sunglasses every day, whether it’s sunny, or cloudy, or in-between.

Myth 2: You don’t need sunglasses in winter.

False! While surface UV levels are highest on a cloudless day in summer, UV light is present 365 days a year, and your eyes and skin can be negatively impacted by it. While we tend to spend less time outside during winter because of the colder weather, it’s still important to wear sunglasses each time you go outside, in spring, fall, summer or winter―and on both cloudy and cloudless days!

Verdict: Wear your sunglasses in every season, every time you go outside.

Myth 3: Darker tinted sunglass lenses offer higher UV protection than lighter lenses.

False! However, almost half of Americans believe this myth, which puts them at higher risk for increased exposure to UV rays in their eyes. No matter how dark or light the tint on the sunglass lenses, it’s the UV protective coating that determines the percentage of UV rays that they block. You want sunglasses from a reputable source that protect against 100% of the sun’s damaging UV-A and UV-B rays to be absolutely sure your eyes are protected from the harmful effects of UV light.

Verdict: Whether you prefer dark or light-tinted sunglass lenses, the most important aspect of sunglasses is the UV-protective coating.

Myth 4: Kids don’t need high-quality sunglasses.

False! The damage that UV-A and UV-B rays cause to your skin and eyes are cumulative over a lifetime—and irreversible. That means you don’t get a second chance to protect your kids from this damage that is occurring daily. To complicate matters, kids and teenagers are out in the sun much more often than adults are, and some studies say that children are exposed to up to 3 times more UV-A and UV-B rays than adults are each year! With those facts in mind, find a quality pair of children’s sunglasses that your kids love and will wear daily, and encourage them to start this good habit of wearing sunglasses whenever they spend time outside.

Verdict: Kids need high-quality sunglasses, too!

Myth 5: Kids’ eyes aren’t as sensitive to the sun’s rays as adults are.

False! Just because your kids are anxious to go outside and play even in the brightest of sunny conditions doesn’t mean it isn’t hurting their eyes—it just means they’re so excited to go out and play that they won’t let a little bit of discomfort stop them. Compared with adults, children’s pupils are larger when at rest and constrict less in bright conditions. That means that even more UV light is entering your child’s eyes when they’re outside—and we’ve already established that kids are outside more often than adults.

Verdict: Get your kids a pair of sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s harmful UV-A and UV-B rays.

Myth 6: You don’t need sunglasses in the car.

False! Have you ever noticed that you have more sun damage—maybe in the form of freckles or age spots—on your left arm, hand, and the left side of your face and neck than on your right? That’s from driving! Unless you wear SPF 30 or higher every single day, chances are you’re accumulating more damage on your left side. The reason is that while most car windows block the sun’s UV-B rays, which would also cause your car’s dashboard to fade and crack, most don’t block the UV-A rays, which are the ones that cause skin aging, wrinkles and, over time, can contribute to the development of skin cancer. These UV-A rays can also contribute to eye problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration.

Verdict: Wear your sunglasses in the car, and on trains and planes, too!

Need a pair?

Are you, your family or loved ones in the market for a quality pair of sunglasses to keep your eyes safe this summer and for years to come? Our optical department has just the pair for you. We’ll be sure to find you the right fit that combines your preferences for form, fashion and functionality. We’ll consider your lifestyle and personal preferences with eyewear when recommending the right pair for you. Give us a call to set your appointment today!