Are drugstore sunglasses the same as ones I get from the Optician or Optometrist?

This may be a common question that comes to mind. The answer is Yes, and No. Yes in that the sunglasses from the drugstore should have 100% UVA and UVB block. No in that the quality of the lenses may not be equal and it can distort your vision, possibly even causing headaches and eyestrain.

Many people may also wonder about the benefits of polarized sunglasses. Do they block more UV? Polarization is a feature of sun lenses that reduce glare, but is unrelated to UV block. Polarized sunglasses are good for water activities and cutting out reflected light. Yet, not everyone will prefer polarized lenses – golfers for example.

Another topic is the colour of sun lenses – is there a best tint that offers the most protection?  Brown or gray? The truth is, colour does not affect the amount of UV block your lenses provide.  It is the material of the lens that determines whether there is 100% UVA and UVB block.  If you do not know what material your lenses are made of, your next best bet is to take your sunglasses to a licensed Optician or Optometrist to check them.

With more recent research about harmful visible blue light that is in the 400 to 440 nm wavelength, colour and polarization do become important in sunglass selection.  There are also options of Transitions or photochromic lenses that turn dark under sunlight, and custom clip-ons, or fitover cocoons  that can be worn over your glasses.

If you are thoroughly confused about your choices of sun lenses by now, talk to your eye doctor today.