Illinois Eye Center

Can Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays?

You wear a hat to protect your face, and lather on sunscreen to protect your skin; but did you know that your eyes are sensitive to Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) as well?

Fortunately, the same sunglasses that protect your eyes from the glaring summer sunlight can protect them from cataracts, vision loss and cancer. But not all sunglasses are created equal.

How much UV protection do sunglasses offer?

Look for sunglasses that clearly state 100% UVA and UVB protection. If no percentage is listed, it’s safest to assume they don’t offer full protection.

Do darker sunglasses block more UV rays?

No, the color and degree of darkness of your sunglass lenses don’t impact the level of UV protection..

What style of sunglasses offer the most protection?

Close-fitting wraparound styles block the most UV rays, but another important consideration is your own personal style preference. After all, if you’re more likely to wear a certain style, that’s the style that offers the most protection!.

What’s more important – UVA or UVB protection?

Only purchase sunglasses that protect against both types of rays. Here’s why:.

  • UVA rays can pass through the cornea and reach the inner parts of the eye. They have been linked to cataracts and macular degeneration (a major cause of visual impairment in adults over 50).
  • UVB rays, while blocked by the cornea, can still wreak havoc on the eye surface by contributing to inflammation and abnormal growths on the cornea. UVB rays also cause premature aging of the skin around the eyes, including wrinkles and discoloration.

In addition, both types of rays are associated with skin cancer.

Are sunglasses necessary on cloudy/overcast days?

Yes. Cloud cover doesn’t stop damaging rays from reaching our eyes. In fact, ultraviolet rays are invisible, so the level of brightness is a poor indicator of safety.

Quality sunglasses are an investment in your eyesight. But they’re also a statement of style. Check out our optical boutique for eyewear that meets both needs beautifully.

4th of July Holiday Hours

Saturday 7/2 – Peoria Office by Appointment Only
All Other Offices Closed

Monday 7/4 – All Offices Closed