How to decipher sunglass labels, what really protects your eyes? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

How to decipher sunglass labels, what really protects your eyes?

Hot summer sun is back and before reaching for those sunglasses check the label a little more closely. It may claim to block 100 percent of UV rays, but Dr. Donavon LaFleur, an optometrist at The Eye Clinic, said, "it may be actually saying 100% of what the FDA requires for it to be labeled which may actually be 70% of UVA and UB rays."

That allows 30 percent of those harmful ultra violet rays to shine through which can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium, a membrane that coats your eye.

Dr. LaFleur advises, "make sure it says it blocks 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays."

In the south people are in even more danger from ultra violet radiation. "The closer you are to the equator the more UV light you get," said Dr. LaFleur.

A set of shades may be trendy, but Dr. LaFleur warns "the important thing is to look at the lenses not just the frame." The price tag does not always indicate protection either. Some drugstore lenses provide more coverage than pricey designer shades.

Children also need to wear sunglasses because their sensitive eyes are even more vulnerable than adults' eyes.

"Their natural lenses are really clear and so the retina, the membrane that lets light in the back of the eye, absorbs more light," explained Dr. LaFleur.

Polarization is another good feature that can block reflection and glare from asphalt while driving and water while boating.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly