Not All Sunglasses Protect the Eyes

Wrong color lenses could also cause traffic accidents

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A pair of sunglasses should do more than just cut glare and reduce the amount of light entering the eyes. Sunglasses that block ultraviolet light, for example, help protect against eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. And shatter-resistant lenses can prevent serious damage, especially from sports injuries. Researchers also report that sunglasses with certain colors could increase the risk of traffic accidents.

The Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera reprints a feature from the Orange County Register that describes practical features to consider when buying your next pair of sunglasses. For example, frames should enclose the entire area around the eyes. Contact-lens wearers might also consider wraparound frames, which help prevent wind from drying out the lenses and keep out dust.

If you wear sunglasses for driving, research conducted by the British pharmacy chain Boots suggests that you stay away from trendy blue lenses, which can make red traffic signals "disappear." Spokesman Matthew Dransfield told The Guardian, "There could be serious consequences for road users."

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