Sunglasses: Experts warn against glasses that are too dark

Sunglasses: The darker the lenses, the better?
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay, Pexels

Not only the skin needs good protection from the sun, but also our eyes. But sunglasses with particularly heavily tinted lenses are usually not the best choice for this.

Is that bright! If there isn’t a single cloud in the sky, we have to squint quite a bit. Good sunglasses should protect you from the annoyingly dazzling sun – and also from its UV radiation. If it hits the eye with high intensity, painful inflammation can occur. In the long term, the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts also increases.

Why sunglasses lenses shouldn’t be too dark

When it comes to finding suitable sunglasses, you have to know: the tint of the lenses has nothing to do with UV protection, as the Good Vision Board (KGS) explains. So the assumption “the darker the better” is a mistake.

And that can even cause damage: If we wear sunglasses that filter out a lot of light with their particularly dark tinted lenses, our pupils dilate even more. If we then take off the glasses, more UV radiation can fall on the retina.

Which glare protection fits when

However, the tint of the lenses determines how well they protect against glare. There is a scale that ranges from 0 to 4 – the higher the value, the more disturbing light the sunglasses’ lenses filter out.

According to the KGS, category 2 is well suited for summer in this country. If you’re on vacation in the south, on the beach or in the mountains, category 3 is a good choice. Category 4 sunglasses are suitable for stays in high mountains – but the extremely dark lenses are taboo in traffic.

Glasses in categories 0 and 1 are less in demand in summer: they are best suited for cloudy skies and changing weather, respectively.

This is how you recognize good UV protection

The question remains: How do I know whether the glasses provide good protection against UV radiation? An important clue is the CE mark. It guarantees that the sunglasses meet the relevant EU standard. The lenses therefore have a UV filter that keeps a large part of the harmful radiation away from the eyes. Some models are also marked with the UV400 test mark.

By the way: The Good Vision Board of Trustees advises against holiday purchases outside the EU. After all, the EU guidelines do not apply there. This means it often remains unclear how well glasses actually protect against UV radiation.

It’s the shape that matters

Even if some people might find micro sunglasses more stylish: if you want to optimally protect your eyes from the sun, the lenses should extend at least to your eyebrows, according to the KGS. It is also best to have the temples a little wider so that less sunlight can hit the eye from the side.

Read more on Techzle\.com:

  • Blue light filters and night mode: do they really protect your eyes?
  • SPF: Are you sure you’re using the right one?
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