What to Look for in a Pair of Sunglasses

Planning to buy a new pair of sunglasses for your summer trip or activities?

Sunglasses offer more than style. They also protect your eyes from damage caused by the sun. So what should you look for?

Check out these buying tips from Doug Dodge, ADC’s Optical Shop supervisor.

UV Protection

Most sunglasses offer some UV protection, but you’ll want to look for 100 percent UV protection, blocking up to 400 nanometers to include UVA and UVB. Untreated glass and CR-39 plastic may protect up to 350 nanometers (UVB but not UVA) which is not adequate protection for full sun exposure.

Polycarbonate and other UV-absorbing lens materials absorb 100 percent UV up to 400 nanometers.

To make sure your lenses are 100 percent block 100 percent of harmful UV light, buy them from a specialty sunglasses store or optical professional.


You don’t have to spend a lot to get UV protection. Look for maximum protection, not maximum price. The key is to make sure the sunglasses lenses absorb 100 percent of UV rays up to 400 nanometers.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses are a great option for protecting your eyes from glare, but that’s not the same as UV protection. Look for a pair of polarized sunglasses that also provides UV protection.

Most polarized lenses sold through optical stores offer 100 percent UV protection.


Big frames provide better protection, which fits right in with the over-sized, colorful frames that are in style this season.

You can also look for wrap-around frames which block UV rays at the temple and provide more protection.


  1. Avatar Wayne Ramsey says

    I have Maui Jim sunglasses. Are they good for uv protection? I know they are polarized. I’ve had this brand for years.

    Wayne Ramsey