Eye Health – Correcting Misconceptions: Do darker lenses protect the eyes?
Our eyes are arguably one of the most important organs of our body. Yet, little care is taken to fully understand what steps we should take to protect our eyes in order to maintain optimum vision for the long term.
Many of us wear sunglasses as a fashion accessory without understanding the importance of the lens used in the pair of sunglasses. A common misconception is that the darker the tint on the lens, the better. It is therefore a common sight to see people wear sunglasses with very dark lenses.
However, a dark lens without adequate Ultraviolet (UV) protection can in fact cause more harm than lightly tinted lenses. Due to the low-light conditions, the pupils dilate thereby making the eyes more vulnerable to damage from harmful UV rays.
It must therefore be emphasized that the colour and intensity of the lens are not the most important factors determining UV protection. To ensure your eyes are adequately protected, choose a pair of sunglasses with lenses that protect you from 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light. Better still, select a pair with UV 400 protection as the lenses filter light with wavelengths of up to 400 nanometers, covering all UVA and UVB rays.
The right lenses will help prevent the onset of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) keeping your vision healthy in the long run.