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Sunglasses with UV ProtectionMedically reviewed by Wut Win, Dispensing Optician at Feel Good Contacts.
While some exposure to sunlight can provide health benefits, too much time spent in the sun can be harmful. In addition to causing skin cancer, too much exposure to UV light long term can be damaging to your eyes. Too much UV light could lead to poor eyesight as well as a variety of eye conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration and photokeratitis.
Whether you're spending the day at the beach, going for a hike or spending time outdoors, it is essential to wear sunglasses with sun protection. Sunglasses are a great accessory to showcase your style and keep your eyes safe from the sun's harmful UV rays. Sunglasses with UV400 labels offer this level of safety and can be found in a wide variety of styles at Feel Good Contacts.
A good quality pair of sunglasses with UV protection is needed all year round, including on overcast days as UV rays can penetrate cloud. Sunglasses are also important in snowy environments as snow can reflect more than 80% of UV rays, not wearing adequate UV-protective eyewear can lead to a condition known as snow blindness.
What are UV Rays?
UV rays comes primarily from the sun. The sun emits a range of wavelengths known as the electromagnetic spectrum.
UV rays are not classified as visible light as you cannot see them. They sit between visible light and X-rays on the spectrum. Whilst gamma rays have the highest energy, UV rays are higher in energy than radio waves and infrared.
How can you tell if your sunglasses are UV protected?
You can tell if your sunglasses are UV protected by checking that it has a UKCA or CE mark, but this will depend on where the product is being sold. In the UK, a quality pair of sunglasses with adequate UV protection should have a UKCA label, whereas in Ireland and EU countries you should look out for a CE label. This is evidence that the sunglasses correspond to EU standards or the designated standards which the UK introduced to replace EU harmonised standards. The CE and UKCA labels can be found on the inner side of the temples. Sometimes there is a U400 sticker on the lenses as well.
There are different types of lens categories for sunglasses. These range from 0-4 with 0 being the lightest tint and 4 being the darkest.
You’ll find the categories for lenses marked on the inside temple of the sunglasses. You can also go to the opticians/eye care professional to find out what category your sunglasses fall in. Using an instrument known as a photometer, they will be able to tell you how much protection they offer.
Most sunglasses have category 3 lenses. Only sunglasses in categories 0-3 are considered safe for driving. Sunglasses in category 4 are dark lenses which are great for sports such as snowboarding and skiing.
Please note, the darkness of the sunglasses lenses has nothing to do with the UV protection. It only helps to reduce the brightness of light which reaches the eyes.
Which sunglasses have UV protection?
All the sunglasses sold at Feel Good Contacts offer UV protection (100% UVA and UVB protection). While all our sunglasses will protect you from the effects of UV light, different lenses offer different benefits with some being better for specific situations and lifestyles.
Polarised sunglasses are a great choice if you're looking for protection from glare; however, it's worth noting that they must be combined with a UV substance to protect the eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Scattered visible light from the sun is often reflected when it meets a horizontal surface which causes glare and reduces visibility. Polarised sunglasses filter out horizontal reflections from the sun and allow you to see more clearly. For this reason, polarising lenses are especially great for driving and water sports, two environments where glare can be a problem. Here are some of our best polarised sunglasses:
Mirrored sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays; they will also prevent excess light from entering your eyes and reduce glare. In addition to this, they look super stylish and are available in many fun colours. They are also an excellent choice if you wish to conceal your eyes beneath your lenses.
Gradient sunglasses have lenses featuring a tint which deepens gradually through the lens.
Gradient sunglasses offer practicality in addition to looking incredibly chic. They are typically tinted from the top down so that the darkest section can protect your eyes from the sun overhead while allowing more light through at the bottom. This is particularly useful if you're driving and need to see your dashboard.
Gradient lenses are incredibly versatile and are available in a wide range of colours at Feel Good Contacts. All our sunglasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.
Photochromic sunglasses are convenient as they feature lenses which change tint depending on the surroundings. They will lighten in dull and overcast weather and darken when in bright and sunny conditions. All our glasses can have light adaptive lenses added at the checkout, to create prescription glasses that remain clear indoors and darken/turn into sunglasses when exposed to UV light.
Do cheap sunglasses have UV protection?
Sunglasses don't have to be overly expensive to provide adequate protection. You can find inexpensive sunglasses with stylish frames and 100% UVA and UVB protection when you shop our Feel Good Collection.
Make sure you find the right fit
Ensuring that your glasses are the right fit is essential to protecting your eyes from UV Rays. Make sure that the lenses provide adequate coverage and are large enough to prevent sun rays from entering at the top. Wrap-around sunglasses are an excellent choice to stop light coming in at the sides, making them a great choice for various sports activities.
When shopping for sunglasses, you might want to consider which sunglasses will suit your face shape. Take a look at our guide to different types of sunglasses for more information on shapes and styles.
Quick links:Polarised Sunglasses: Great for minimising glare
Sunglasses tint options
How to order prescription sunglasses