The Advantages of Polarized vs. UV Protection Lenses

The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can cause damage to our skin and eyes, which is why we need to take the extra steps necessary to prevent our exposure to UV rays. We should apply sunblock each day, but what about our eyes? Sunglasses aren’t just a great accessory; some lenses are designed to decrease your risk of sun damage. The two types discussed in this article are ultraviolet (UV) and polarized lenses. Continue reading to learn more about each of the lenses from the eye experts at Nationwide Vision. 

Why You Need to Wear Sunglasses While Spending Time Outdoors

Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation emitted by the sun. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The only types that affect the earth are UVA and UVB. UVB rays are the most damaging type. Sunglasses are even important on cloudy or overcast days. Although you may not see or feel the sun’s rays, they’re still there.  

The sun’s damage to your eyes is cumulative over your lifetime, meaning it's never too early to start protecting your eyes.  Research shows that the sun's high-energy UV light rays can increase your risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and even ocular cancers. Wearing sunglasses is especially important if you have light-colored eyes, as they put you at a higher risk for ocular damage.

UV Protection Lenses

Lenses that have a UV protection coating do just that: keep your eyes protected from harmful UV radiation. Most sunglasses offer UV protection, but be sure to read the label before purchasing. 

Polarized Lenses

Reduce glare with polarized sunglasses. These lenses will give you a clearer view of the world around you as they increase the contrast of your environment. This is especially beneficial for those who spend much time on the water or road, as polarized lenses reduce the glare that bounces off reflective surfaces. 

What To Look For When Shopping for Sunglasses

There are many sunglass styles and designers to choose from, but how do you know which is the right pair for you? Here are some tips from Nationwide Vision on choosing the best pair of sunglasses. 

Find Sunglasses That Fit Your Lifestyle

You’ll soon find a variety of sunglass lens materials available. Some types, such as plastic and polycarbonate, are great for those with a highly active lifestyle. Athletes should choose polycarbonate sunglass lenses, which are tougher than standard plastic lenses. Frames with colored lenses, such as green or amber, enable you to see with more contrast. This is especially helpful for those who spend much time outdoors, as they enhance your vision.

Maximum UV Protection

Reduce exposure to harmful UV rays with a pair of sunglasses offering 99-100% UV protection. Look for a label that says “UV absorption up to 400nm, " meaning the sunglasses have 100% UV protection. Lenses with a dark or metallic finish may help reduce the light entering your eye, but it doesn’t always mean they protect against UV rays.

Choose Functional Frames

It can be easy to choose a pair of sunglasses just for their stylish appearance, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll be protected from the sun. Always read the label or ask an associate for more information about a pair of sunglasses you’re considering purchasing. Remember that the larger the lens, the more protection it offers. When choosing a frame style, choose a pair with a large or wrap-around lens. 

Polarized Lenses with UV Protective Coating: A Powerful Combination

For clear vision with minimal glare and maximum protection from the sun, it’s easy to see that two features are better than one. Nationwide Vision recommends purchasing polarized lenses treated with a UV protective coating.

Shop Our Selection of Sunglasses at Nationwide Vision

Find your perfect pair of sunglasses at your local Nationwide Vision. We have a large selection of designers and frame styles available. Find a location near you to shop in-store or browse our selection online

*Restrictions may apply. See store for details.

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