How to Test If Sunglasses Have UV Protection?

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Wearing sunglasses is a great way to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause long-term damage to your vision. However, not all sunglasses provide adequate UV protection, and some may even do more harm than good.

So, how can you Test If Sunglasses Have UV Protection In this article, we’ll provide you with some simple methods to help you determine if your sunglasses are providing the protection you need.

Whether you’re shopping for a new pair of shades or want to test the ones you already own, these tips will help you ensure that your eyes are well protected from harmful UV rays.

Why UV Protection?

Other than being the cause of many skin cancers, too much exposure to the sun is bound to leave long-lasting damages to your eyes, as well.

Macular degeneration and a greater risk for cataracts to name a few of those outcomes for mentioned damages.

Enter: the Ultraviolet (UV) Protection.

This feature is common for sunglasses everywhere.

Or, well, UV protection is commonly ADVERTISED for sunglasses everywhere.

It’s normal for marketing strategies to hype up a mundane thing with tons of jargon and flowery descriptions for it to milk as many wallets as it can.

Because of these, scams frequently get squeezed in between the legit ones, so you better be on your toes when you’re eying some pairs of shades!

Luckily for you, here are some tips on how to test the sunglasses you chose for that authentic UV protection.

Consult a Professional

If you’re going to be careful, you might as well go straight to the source itself.

And that’s when the optician or the optometrist comes in!

An optometrist’s area of expertise is anything related to one’s eyes; be it an eye abnormality or eyewear.

Of course, consulting one will be much more straight-to-the-point as the optometrist has the complete equipment to examine whether or not your sunglasses have legit UV protection.

“Complete equipment” makes it sound like it has a bunch of tangled wires and motherboards involved, but the optometrist just needs one thing.

And it’s the spectrophotometer.

It kind of looks like a fax machine with its printer part or even the keypad!

But it’s going to do no such thing as a spectrophotometer that measures the exact measurements of the UV protection coating the lenses. 

Afterward, they’ll relay to you whatever the outcome is!

Of course, as the optometrist is also considered a doctor, you might need to pay a fee at the end of this consultation 

Know What They’re Made Of

A mere glance does not instantly tell you whether your sunglasses have UV protection or not.

This means you’ll have to dig deeper.

Right off the bat, if a brand is selling a pair of sunnies for maybe below a hundred bucks while it’s advertised to have UV protection, then it has a strong possibility for it to be a fake.

Okay, so maybe that’s too harsh. 

A cheap pair of sunglasses that features “100% UV protection” or “UV 400” doesn’t mean it has zero UV protection.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get 40% if you’re lucky.

Bottom line: cheap sunglasses with 100% UV protection are more likely to be false.

Of course, just because that’s the way it is doesn’t mean expensive brands out there are as legit as they can be!

Normally, materials such as polycarbonate and Trivex are used to guarantee complete UV protection as they possess this innately.

Because of this, having polycarbonate or Trivex can stand alone when it already has UV protection!

But it’s due to this that these lenses are far more expensive than the usual pair of sunglasses.

So, if you’re set on having that reassurance for high-quality protection, then you’ll need to invest in it!

Flash ‘Em!

All right, do you know about that artificial light that goes across the length of your paper bills or your credit card to get some line of numbers from them?

Well, you’ll be needing that for this test.

To reveal the security codes built into them, you’ll need a flashlight that exclusively emits ultraviolet light. Through this, those codes will appear

Now, set your sunglasses on top of the paper bill or credit card.

If you flash the UV light on it without passing through the lens, then congrats! You have a pair of UV-protected sunglasses!

But, if you’re still able to read the code when the light passed through the lens, that’s a resounding failure on its part.

It’s fairly easy to do as the only thing you’ll need is the UV flashlight, unless that’s a thing that you don’t see a lot from where you’re from.

In that case, you are given good luck with your hunt!

Is the Dark Side on the Right Track?

Shockingly, having dark-tinted lenses does nothing to contribute to UV protection.

Why is that?

Okay, think of each time you’re in a dark area with little light around you.

Do you remember being able to see outlines of your surroundings after a few seconds of adjusting despite the minimal light?

Well, that’s your pupils dilating to take in as much light as available to somewhat see your surroundings, which is why your eyes tend to sting when you’re suddenly bombarded by light.

Now, if you’ll use a dark-tinted lens, your pupils will dilate without you knowing to reach for the light your lenses are filtering from you.

But that’s all those lenses are protecting from you: light.

So, you probably get the gist already on why dark-tinted lenses are bad for you.

Although it blocks you from sunlight, the UV rays are not filtered as they’ll cause more damage to your eyes now that they’re much more sensitive than usual.

It’s not good, that’s for sure.

Final Words

UV protection is a crucial feature that every pair of sunglasses should have!

As times are changing, the summers are getting harsher than the last, so you’ll need all of the protection you can get to fend off that harmful light.

Through these tests, you’ll be aware of what sunglasses you’re getting into and have an idea of which brand you should trust now that you know their inner workings.

You best use this knowledge wisely.

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Tessa Reynolds
Meet Tessa Reynolds, who lives in Denver, Colorado. She likes to write about sunglasses, and eye makeup so that she can share her knowledge, and help all the people who need something for their eyes. When she is not writing, you can find her skiing in the mountains of Colorado.