The importance of sunglasses with UV protection

Published on
January 25, 2023

Sunglasses are a must-have accessory for many people, especially during the summer months. They provide a stylish and practical way to protect your eyes and the surrounding skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. However, not all sunglasses offer the same level of protection. In this blog, we'll go over some basics to do with sunglasses and what to look for when choosing a pair.

How can UV rays affect your vision?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, UV radiation from the sun is the leading cause of cataracts, which are the clouding of the eye's natural lens. In the United States, cataracts are the most common cause of blindness and visual impairment. In addition to cataracts, UV radiation can also cause other eye problems such as macular degeneration, pterygium, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea).

Furthermore, the American Academy of Dermatology states that the sun's harmful UV rays can also cause skin cancer on the eyelids and around the eyes. The incidence of eyelid and periocular skin cancer has been increasing in recent years. It is important to protect your eyes from the sun's UV rays by wearing sunglasses.

What should I look for when choosing sunglasses to ensure they protect my eyes from UV rays?

When choosing sunglasses, it's essential to look for lenses that offer 99-100% UV protection or UV 400. This ensures that the lens will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays getting through. Keep in mind that the tint of the lens does not necessarily indicate how much UV protection it offers. A darker lens may be more comfortable to the eye, but it may not provide the same level of protection as a lighter lens.

How do polarized lenses differ from regular lenses in terms of UV protection?

Polarized sunglasses are a popular choice for many people as they reduce glare, especially when you're on the water or in the snow. However, just because a lens is polarized, it doesn't mean that it offers UV protection. It's essential to look for lenses that are labeled with the same UV protection labels mentioned above. Speak with our optician to learn more about the different lens options available. 

What are the benefits of children wearing sunglasses and how can I find a pair that fits them well?

Wearing sunglasses is important throughout your whole life, but it's particularly crucial for children. Studies show that by the time you're 18, you will have received almost 80% of your sun exposure throughout your lifetime. Children are often outside more, and their eyes are more susceptible to UV rays, so it's essential to protect them. Choosing sunglasses that fit children's faces and are comfortable for them to wear can be a bit challenging, but it's worth the effort to protect their eyes. We recommend bringing your child into our optical in Olympia so that they can try on different frames and find a style that matches their style and comfort. 

How can people who wear prescription glasses protect their eyes from UV rays?

If you wear prescription glasses, you can still protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. There are several options available, including prescription lenses that provide UV protection, prescription sunglasses, clip-on sunglasses, and cocoons that fit over your prescription glasses.

Visit our optical in Olympia to protect your eyes and explore UV protection options in sunglasses and glasses

Don't wait to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays! Schedule your appointment with us or drop in to check out our optical to ensure your vision is in top shape and to explore the best options for UV protection in sunglasses. Whether you need prescription glasses with UV protection, prescription sunglasses, polarized lenses, or sunglasses for children, we have you covered. Call us today at (360) 491-2121 to make an appointment and take the first step in protecting your eyes!

Patients searching for eyewear and sunglasses visit our optical from all over Washington, and we are proud to have a wide selection of lenses, frames, and sunglasses at our optical for our patients and customers who visit us from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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