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Does Wearing Sunglasses Really Protect Your Eyes?

We all have our favorite pair of sunglasses, and mostly we like how we look in them. That’s fine as long as they have UV protection to safeguard our eyes from the sun. No matter the season, we all need to have sunglasses that provide the right protection from the damaging rays of the sun. Does wearing sunglasses really protect your eyes? The answer is a resounding yes, we will explain how and why.

Craving the Sun

Spring and summer creates this massive search for the sun. We like to feel it on our faces, it helps our plants and flowers bloom, and it provides Vitamin D. Unfortunately, the sun can severely damage both our skin and our eyes.

Sunscreen and sunglasses are two essentials we can not do without. We know all about sunscreen and protection from skin cancer. Many of us, though, are not aware of the damage sunlight can do to our vision.

Ultraviolet Radiation Damage in Beverly Hills

Sunglasses protect our eyes from ultraviolet light coming from the sun. They protect the delicate skin of our eyelids, our cornea, lens, and retina. We need all these parts of our eyes to see properly.

There are multiple conditions and diseases we can acquire due to UV damage to our eyes. They include some of the following:


You can increase your risk of developing cataracts later in life if you don’t protect your eyes. The lens in your eyes becomes cloudy making it difficult to read and do everyday activities. If you are having these symptoms, visit Hecht Eye Institute.

Macular Degeneration

You are also more at risk to develop macular degeneration. This is a disease where you lose your central vision. Straight lines can look wavy, it becomes difficult to read when the color of the page and the letters are similar, and you have a hard time seeing when walking into a darkened room.


This condition can happen in summer or winter and it basically means we have “sunburned eyes.” During summer while out at the beach or on a boat, the light reflecting off the sand or water can cause temporary symptoms of blindness and pain. The same thing can occur in winter with the sun reflecting off the snow.


This is a growth that shows up on the white part of the eye. It may start small but can become so large that it affects vision.

Skin Cancer

Because the skin of your upper and lower eyelids and around the eyes are delicate, they are very susceptible to skin cancer. Not wearing protective eyewear can greatly increase the chance you will develop skin cancer near or in your eyes.

How to Choose the Best Sunglasses

When searching for the best sunglasses to protect your eyes, there are a few things to look for.

  • Be sure they have 100% UV protection.
  • As far as the size, bigger is better for more coverage.
  • Wraparound styles keep the sun’s rays from affecting the sides of your eyes.
  • Polarization will reduce glare.

Contact Hecht Eye Center at (310) 370-5648 for additional questions about protecting your eyes from the sun, or if you suspect you may be developing one of the above conditions.

Ready to get started?

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Hecht and be on your way to better eye health!