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Designer Sunglasses Don't Offer More Protection

Cost is not the most important factor

woman in wrap around sunglasses-block harmful ultraviolet rays

Mark Peterson/Redux

Make sure your sunglasses provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

En español | When it comes to protecting your eyes, it doesn't matter whether you buy $500 designer sunglasses or a no-name pair for $25, says Lee Duffner, M.D., spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. All that counts is the ability to block harmful ultraviolet rays. Nor does it matter how dark or what color the lenses are (although gray, he says, causes the least color distortion). Read the label to make sure the glasses give close to 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound glasses are best because they prevent rays from entering from the side. Polarized lenses that cut down on glare are a plus, although they're not necessary for eye health.

Joan Rattner Heilman is a frequent contributor to the AARP Bulletin.