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Study Reveals That Sunglasses Lose UV Protection Over Time

Whether we’re talking about our new favorite sunscreen or the latest styles of sun protective clothing here at Cabana Life we always put sun protection first. Great sunglasses are the perfect accessory & a sun safe essential. But are your sunglasses protecting your eyes from damaging UV rays as much as you think they are? 

If your favorite shades have been with you for a while their UV protection may have significantly faded; leaving your eyes vulnerable. Sunglasses can lose UV protection over time and the current industry tests are not sufficient in determining how long it’s safe to wear them. 

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Image provided by @styleherstrong

Several factors can cause loss of UV protection. General wear & tear from everyday use, like frequently tossing your sunglasses in your beach bag, can cause scratches. Even microscopic scratches can allow damaging radiation to reach your eyes. Exposure to the sun over time can also deteriorate UV protection in your sunglasses. 

Why is shielding your eyes from the sun so important? UV exposure can lead to cataracts, retina damage, vision loss and other long-term eye problems


Because sunglasses lose UV protection the more you wear them in the sun, the answer to "how often should you replace your sunglasses" depends on how frequently you wear them.

If you find that you wear your sunglasses about two hours a day, you should replace them every two years. It’s recommended that you replace sunglasses more frequently if you wear your sunglasses more often or work in the sun. When lenses get lighter, that’s one sign they are losing their UV protection & it’s time to ditch them for a new pair of UV-blocking sunnies.

Don’t forget the kids! Consider making wearing sunglasses part of your child’s “going outside” routine to help them stay sun safe & stylish.

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While your favorite sunglasses may look good, that doesn’t mean they filter out the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (UV). To make sure you are getting the most UV protective sunglasses look for lenses that are labeled "100% UV protection" or "UV400." Bigger frames or wrap around style sunglasses will also help to cut down on UV rays entering the eye from the side. Darker or colored lenses won’t necessarily block more sun rays, but they can help you with seeing contrast. Also, polarization cuts down on glare not UV radiation. Remember sunglasses don't have to break the bank to work well – less expensive pairs with 100% UV-blocking can be just as effective.

It’s also important to make sure your new sunnies haven’t already been excessively exposed to UV rays. So it’s not recommended to grab the first pair from an outdoor stand on the boardwalk or beach. When choosing your pair it may help to make sure your sunglasses are dark enough for you to open your eyes normally and not squint in the sun. 

Woman walking onto beach wearing Cabana Life Navy Sleeveless Terry Tunic

Image provided by @styleherstrong

We love a pretty pair of sunglasses, but as always we want fashion AND function. So next time you hit the beach, make sure you bring sunglasses with 100% UV protection. If your old pair is looking a little faded, it’s time to treat yourself (especially your eyes) to some new sunglasses. Bonus, that new pair will go perfectly with our stylish sun protection!

While sunglasses may complete your look, check out Cabana Life for clothing & swimwear designed with the highest rated and luxurious UPF 50+ fabrics. Shop original prints & flattering silhouettes for everyday & vacay.