How to make sure your sunglasses are protecting your eyes

HOUSTON – Whether it's sunny or cloudy, UV rays are threatening your eye health every day, but as you spend more time outdoors in the next few months, you need to follow these rules to protect your peepers.

The damage is cumulative, meaning if you've gone your whole life mostly without sunglasses, you could be at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelids and cancers of the cornea.

Dr. Danny Tran with Cizik Eye Clinic and UT Health said one thing to do to keep your eyes healthy is to find sunglasses that have a sticker claiming to have both “UVA and UVB protection," “100% UV protection” or “UV400.”

If you can't remember what yours have, some vision stores have a machine called a spectrometer that can measure whether your sunglasses have UV protection.

Polarized may sound like it's protecting you, but it's strictly a coating for comfort. This can help with glare off of a windshield or water, which is beneficial when you're driving, swimming, fishing but Tran warns not to sacrifice UV protection for this added comfort

“Polarized sunglasses will kind of make your vision look more clear as you're looking through it but it won't block out any UV. So it would be nice to have both but if I had to choose one I would probably pick UV protection,” Tran said.