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Most people understand the protection sunscreen provides from sun damage to your skin, but what about damage the sun causes to your eyes?

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The Australian Skin Cancer Foundation’s research shows that eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than your skin. Too much exposure to UV radiation can contribute to eye conditions and diseases including cataracts, ptergium, and cancer of the skin around the eye.

Quality UV protection from sunglasses worn for 52 weeks a year protects your eyes form the damage the sun can cause. Sunglasses provide protection throughout the year – the sun can still cause damage in spring, autumn AND winter – not just summer.

Sunscreen protects your skin, good sunglasses protect your eyes.
Children are most at risk

Children and teenagers are more sensitive to UV radiation than adults.

Research shows that only 32% of Australian children are protecting their eyes from harm by wearing sunglasses.

Are your children in the 68% that aren’t protected?

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How to choose the best sunnies

When you get your next pair of sunnies, you probably base most of your decision on how they look – but you should also make sure they provide protection.

Are they fit for purpose?

When you are choosing sunglasses, you should like how they look, but also think about where you are going to wear them, and what you’ll be doing when wearing them.

For instance, will you be playing energetic sports where they may fall off your face?

Or are they to keep your eyes protected while lying by the pool?

Sunglasses need to be fit for the purpose you are going to use them, plus they need to provide protection from the sun

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UV Protection

We all know to protect our skin when outside, and our eyes are no different.

UV-protective sunglasses will protect you from degenerative eye disorders and cancers, and reduce glare while making it easier to see.

And remember, even in winter, sunglasses provide you with good protection, UV damage doesn’t only occur when it’s warm.

Category level of protection

When choosing your sunglasses make sure that they provide UV protection and reduce glare from the sun.

Check that the glasses are labelled as either 'sunglasses' or as 'special purpose sunglasses' and not as 'fashion spectacles'.

Sunglasses must have a label that states that they comply with the requirements of the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles, AS/NZS 1067.

Sunglasses fall into five different categories.

Lens category 0:

These are fashion glasses - not sunglasses. They have a very low ability to reduce sun glare and provide limited, or no, UV protection.

Lens category 1:
Like category 0 lenses, these are not sunglasses. They provide very limited glare and UV protection. Category 1 lenses are not suitable for use when driving at night.

Lens category 2:

Sunglasses in this category provide a medium level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Many sunglasses are rated as category 2.

Lens category 3:

These sunglasses provide a high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. This is the type of sunglasses that your optometrist will prescribe for you.

Lens category 4:

Special purpose sunglasses that provide a very high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Lens category 4 sunglasses must not be used when driving at any time.

Prescription Sunglasses

Adding a prescription to your sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, reduce glare and you’ll be able to see clearly too!

A good option to consider when getting your next pair of sunglasses, or glasses.

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Types of Sunglasses

Wrap-around Sunglasses

This style of sunglasses are very good at protecting the sides of your face, and are a good choice if you participate in activities where you rely on your peripheral vision.

Mirrored Lenses

Mirrored lenses are great for reducing glare as they reflect light away from your eyes.

Coloured Lenses

Lenses in sunglasses are available in different colours.

  • Grey lenses cut down on the intensity of light without distorting natural colours.
  • Green lenses can improve depth perception and may be a good option for those who play golf.
  • Yellow lenses increase contrast in low light conditions, but can distort colour, so are not a good choice if you want to use them for cycling or driving.sungl
  • Brown lenses enhance contrasts and increase depth perception. This colour is a good choice if you play golf for tennis, or need to judge distance.
  • Pink or red lenses block fuzzy blue rays and can sharpen your vision. They are a good choice if you are out in the sun for a long time.
  • Blue lenses provide protection that is best suited to moderate sunlight.