Common Sunglasses Myths: True or False?

As a trend, sunglasses are popular. They are regarded as a vital accessory. People aren’t going out and buying one pair of sunglasses as they did in the past. Consumers now buy several pairs to match different outfits and ensembles.

While they make a great accessory, sunglasses have a design function. They are meant to protect your eyes from the harmful UV (ultra-violet) rays from the sun. Without the protection of sunglasses, the UV rays may hurt your eyes and cause long-term damage.

Here are some common myths about sunglasses you need to know about:

Myth #1: All sunglasses offer the same protection – FALSE

Sunglasses are not all the same. Like cars, you get different models that offer different features. It’s important to know the specifications of the sunglasses you choose. Not all sunglasses offer 100% protection from UV rays.

Read the label before you buy the sunglasses. A pair of sunglasses will be a mere accessory if they aren’t protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Myth #2: All that matters is that sunglasses make you look good – FALSE

There are thousands of different pairs of sunglasses to choose from. Some are trendy and in keeping with the latest styles. Others are regular ‘timeless’ pairs.

Regardless of your style, you shouldn’t see a pair of sunglasses only as a part of your final look. Choose a pair that makes you look good but make sure that it protects your eyes from the sun. Companies like the Sunglass Fix suggest that you should focus equally on the eye protection and not just style.

Myth #3: You only wear sunglasses on sunny days – FALSE

The sun’s UV rays can penetrate cloud and reach your eyes. Cloudy days still present your eyes with harmful UV rays that damage them.

Overcast weather also increases the glare. This is uncomfortable for those with sensitive eyes. Don’t put your sunglasses away when the sun isn’t shining. They’re still important for protecting your eyes.

Myth #4: The label is always right – FALSE

It’s important to buy your sunglasses from a reputable outlet. Many sunglasses manufacturers and retailers provide false information on the labels of their products.

These are the products you’re likely to find in less formal retail settings. It’s best to exercise a bit of skepticism and not believe that producers and sellers will always be honest.

Myth #5: Darker lenses offer more protection – FALSE

Sunglasses are also referred to as dark glasses in many countries. This had led to the assumption that the darker the lens, the better. In fact, this is not true. If the lenses are not UV resistant, your eyes will be damaged no matter how light or dark they are.

You are exposing your eyes to potential damage if you buy very dark sunglasses that are not UV resistant. They cause your pupil to dilate widely to compensate for the dark. When the lenses are not UV resistant, this exposes your enlarged pupils to sun damage.

Myth #6: Shape and size don’t matter – FALSE

It’s important to choose a pair of sunglasses that suit your face. When doing so, keep these factors in mind: the shape and size of the glasses are important. Smaller lenses provide less protection, especially around the sides of the eyes. Sunglasses that sit further away from the eye provide less protection.

The rays of the sun can penetrate from the opening at the top. The wrap-around frame is recommended as it protects the eyes from all angles. Make sure at least one of your pairs of glasses gives your eyes this level of protection. These are the sunglasses you should be using most of the time.

Myth #7: Sunglasses are for adults – FALSE

It’s suspected that the bulk of damage the sun’s UV rays do to our eyes happens within the first 18 years of life. If you think about it, children spend the same amount of time, if not more, in the sun than adults.

Children are constantly being encouraged to tear themselves away from screens to go outside. When they do so, they should wear sunglasses to avoid eye damage.

Myth #8: It’s not about how much you pay – TRUE

The effectiveness of your sunglasses is not measured by their price tag. Assuming that expense equates to quality is not advisable. The quality of your sunglasses is what counts. You can determine this by factoring in what protection they offer.

If you’re buying them at a reputable outlet, a less expensive pair of sunglasses is fine. As soon as you see a reliable guarantee that the lenses block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays, you know you’ve found a quality product.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.