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Are Gas Station Sunglasses Dangerous?

From the trendiest celebrities to the kid next door, everybody is sporting a stylish pair of sunglasses these days. This is great news since UV damage has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer and other diseases.

I'm sure you've noticed:

You can find sunglasses for sale just about anywhere these days, from the corner store to the mall to your local gas station.

But you must ask yourself, “are all sunglasses created equal?”

The answer: Absolutely not!

The international health care group, Bupa, is warning consumers that over-the-counter sunglasses should actually come with a warning label!

How so?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that inadequate sunglasses can actually do more harm than good. Inferior quality sunglasses dim some light which causes your pupils to dilate (get bigger) but do not block UVA and UVB rays. What this means is that you are actually opening your pupils up to absorb more high-frequency UV light.

Yikes! You’d be better off wearing no sunglasses at all!

Unfortunately, less reputable sources may have stickers on their products falsely claiming to block UV light. So please, please, please purchase your sunglasses from a trustworthy source. A good quality pair of sunglasses protects your eyes by filtering out UV rays that cause skin/eye cancer, macular degeneration, growths on the eyeball (pinguecula), cataracts, and a host of other eye related diseases.

So now what?

To be sure that you are getting a pair of sunglasses that meets FDA standards, make sure you shop at reputable sources. Steer clear of places that cannot guarantee their products are safe. These include street vendors, gas stations, and yes that super cute pair at your favorite clothing store. Optical stores in the United States are required to carry lenses that filter out UV and even have polarized lenses to greatly reduce the glare.

At Insight Eye Clinic, every pair of sunglasses we carry protects from UVA and UVB, so no matter what, you are 100% covered!


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