Why All Sunglasses Aren't Made Alike

Everyone wants to look great in sunglasses. However, it’s even more important to consider the health of your eyes when choosing your next pair. They’re not all alike when it comes to protection. Visit our knowledgeable optometrists, Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD, at Classic Vision Care in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia, to discuss your eyewear needs. 

What to consider when purchasing sunglasses

Sunglasses shield our eyes from a range of health issues. At the top of the list sits protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can lead to:

Our optometrists stress the importance of wearing sunglasses, even when it’s cloudy. Surprisingly, dark lenses alone won’t guarantee protection. Darker sunglasses cause your eyes to dilate, allowing more sunlight and UV rays to enter. Without added UV protection, they may harm your eyes even more than lighter lenses.   

Polarized versus non-polarized lenses

Polarized lenses offer an added layer of protection. They reduce glare reflected off cars and other shiny surfaces. Although they’re usually a great feature, polarized lenses can also become hazardous in certain situations, such as skiing, when it’s safer to see the glare of snow or ice. Dr. Patel and our team help you decide what works best for your particular circumstances and eye conditions.

Your eye health

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), sun exposure can damage your eyes. Using the latest state-of-the-art technology, our optometrists screen your eyes for such conditions as:

  1. Cataracts
  2. Macular degeneration
  3. Cancer
  4. Diabetic retinopathy, and more

To keep your eyes in tip-top shape, we recommend at least 400 UV protection and oversized lenses to provide the most coverage. Prescription indoor-outdoor sunglasses that darken in sunlight also work well.

Incorporate both UVA and UVB protection

The sun produces two types of harmful ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB. While UVA rays are more common, UVB also wreaks havoc on both skin and eyes. UVA penetrates more deeply, instigating premature wrinkling and worse. UVB primarily causes sunburn and skin cancer. Dr. Patel and our staff emphasize the importance of wearing sunglasses that shield your eyes from both these damaging rays. 

Color my world

Lens color also affects your vision in various ways.

Brown and amber 

If you suffer from such conditions as diabetic retinopathy, wherein excess glucose inhibits your eyes from receiving the proper nutrients, or macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in seniors, you may benefit from brown or amber lenses. These increase contrast and work best on bright days to improve depth perception.


Green sunglasses provide even better contrast on both sunny and grey days. They also reduce glare and brighten shadows.

Orange or yellow

While orange and yellow lenses improve visibility and block out blue light, they also distort color, which might aggravate some wearers.

Rose-colored glasses

Viewing the world through rose-colored glasses may actually be helpful. They comfort your eyes and block harmful blue rays.


Blue lenses make it easier to see the contour of objects and scenery. However, they might also allow more harmful ultraviolet light onto your retina. The jury is still out on this.

We can help you decide upon the best options for your next pair of prescription sunglasses. Whichever color you choose, 100% UV protection remains the most important element. If you experience any eye issues, wish to schedule a regular check-up or purchase new glasses, simply give us a call or book an appointment online with Classic Vision Care today.


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