Proper Sun Protection for Sunnies
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A cool pair of sunglasses can complete a summer outfit, but those trendy aviator shades won't protect your precious eyes from the sun's burning UV rays. David Tanzer, M.D., chief medical officer of Abbott Medical Optics, says sun damage on and around your eyes can leave short-term and lasting effects. In fact, just a short time spent outdoors in intense sunlight with a cheapie pair of sunglasses (or—gasp!—none at all) can cause sunburn on your cornea, which eventually sloughs off like a blister, but can be extremely painful until then, says Tanzer.
Other long-term concerns from sun exposure include pterygium of the eye (also known as surfer's eye), which is a pink fleshy growth on the whites of your eye; cataracts, which creates fogginess and vision issues over time; macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness over the age of 65 that can be hastened by sun exposure; and even melanoma or basal cell carcinoma cancers. "Preventative maintenance is crucial," says Tanzer.
Shopping for Shades
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These are some key things to look for when shopping for shades, according to Tanzer:
- The bigger the frame, the greater the protection. Frames with thick temples or larger surface area will help protect you from rays coming from different angles.
- Frames should sit comfortably close to your face. UVA and UVB rays come from all angles, included the top and bottom of your frame, so a tighter fit is preferable.
- Sunglasses should have at least 98 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays—100 percent is the gold standard.
- Just because the lens is dark doesn't mean it's protective and vise versa. Gradient, ombre, or other light colored lens can offer the same amount of protection as a darker lens. It's the UV protection rating that matters.
- Polarized lenses don't offer more sun protection, but they do actually help make your vision clearer.
Photo: Francisco Rama/EyeEm
Tory Burch Blue Tortoise Sunglasses
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Marc Jacobs Sunglasses
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Warby Parker Downing Sunglasses
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Smith Optics Colette Polarized Sunglasses
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Ray-Ban Oversized Clubmaster
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We're throwing it way back with a classic pair from Ray-Ban. The thicker frame on the top and sides offers nice barrier from the harsh sun. Just make sure you apply sunscreen on your face and the skin around your eyes for ample protection against the sun's rays. ($112.50; zappos.com)
Karen Walker Super Duper Strength Retro Sunglasses
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Vogue Eyewear Polarized Sunglasses
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