H-Town How-To

(Don't) Feel the Burn

Avoiding eye-destroying UV rays, one stylish sunglass purchase at a time

By Tricia Gilbride May 10, 2013



 When you hear that the EPA declares Houston to have the 8th highest UV levels in the United States, you're likely to reach for your SPF. But that fireball from space doesn't just pose a danger to your skin. The sun can burn the surface of your eyes, contribute to cataracts, and possibly lead to macular degeneration. If advanced eyeball burn sounds unpleasant, we suggest you invest in some stylin' frames like those above from Illesteva or below from Jason Wu, and then start thinking about lenses. 

 Because not all sunglasses are created equal, here are a couple of things informed shoppers should consider:

  • Sunglasses are one area in which paying more doesn’t necessarily pay off in terms of protection. Spending upwards of $100 for designer frames does not ensure lenses that will provide adequate UV protection, and plenty of cheap shades will do the job just fine. Read any tags or labels and look for lenses that block at least 98 percent of UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Lenses can always be replaced. The same way you can get your prescription put into the frames of your dreams, you can also swap your lenses with for some with better sun protection. You can even take the glasses you already own in to an optician to see if they'll make the grade. 

    Jason Wu

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