Are Cheap Sunglasses Hurting Your Eyes?

We all know that it’s essential to leave the house with a pair of sunglasses in order to protect our eyes, but the kind of sunglasses may be more important than you think. You may think it’s okay to pick up those $10 glasses from the gas station to stay protected but when it comes down to it, most cheaper pairs of sunglasses don’t offer you the protection that you need to stay safe from UV rays. 

Sunglasses are important for your eyes and should offer you more protection than just darkness. It is vital that your sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays, just as you would protect your skin with sunscreen. Exposing your eyes to UV rays can lead to a wide variety of long-term problems including cataracts, macular degeneration, or even eye cancer. However, having a cheap pair of shades could be doing more harm to your eyes than going out without them on. If you wear a pair of sunglasses that have bad light filters in them, UV light can flood in through the glasses, causing intense eye strain. You may see the price of designer sunglasses and be appalled, but sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement, they’re essential to the health of your eyes. 

man leaning outside of car window with black sunglasses that have orange lenses
Without sunglasses, your eyes can suffer many long-term problems such as macular degeneration and eye cancer.

What to Look for in Your Sunglasses

Finding the right pair of sunglasses can be tricky because there’s so much to consider like price and style. However, it’s important to remember that price and style shouldn’t be the most important factors when looking for a new pair of sunglasses. Follow these guidelines the next time you’re shopping for a new pair of sunglasses to make sure you pick the perfect ones:

UV Protection

The two types of radiation that you need to protect yourself from are UVA and UVB rays. Both of these are associated with high risk of skin cancer as well as damage the inside of your eyes if the rays hit them. It is essential to find sunglasses that block 99 or 100 percent of both UVA and UVB in order to keep your eyes healthy. Without this protection, you can fall victim to  various long-term eye problems. 

Visible Light

Blocking 75 to 90 percent of the visible light spectrum is another important feature you should look for in your sunglasses. Without the protection of sunglasses, your eyes will be exposed to glare which can cause damage such as photokeratitis, somewhat like having sunburn in your eyes. 

High Quality Lenses

It is important to find glasses that have high-quality lenses in order for them to have even tinting and curvature on both lenses. Finding glasses that have these features will reduce future eye strain. Cheaper sunglasses often have warped lenses, various lens sizing, and uneven lens coloring. These things may not be apparent at first glance but can become huge problems for eye strain after wearing them for a few hours. 

Full Eye Protection

While it seems that different sunglass styles seem to pop up each year, it is important to find a pair that will protect your eyes fully. If you’re exposed to the outdoors a lot, especially in snow, water, or surfaces with a lot of reflection, it is pertinent to get glasses that fully cover your eyes. It is often seen that cheaper sunglasses target style over safety. You also want to make sure that you’re buying glasses big enough to make sure your eyes and skin around your eyes are being protected from the potential of cancer and other long-term damage. 

woman kneeling in a yellow shirt with black sunglasses on
It is important to find sunglasses that cover the entirety of your eye to prevent cancer of both the eyes and skin surrounding the eyes.


Overall, it seems those $10 gas station shades may not be your best bet at eye protection. However, the price doesn’t matter ultimately. What matters is that the sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays, visible light, and can keep your eyes far away from long-term damage. There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on sunglasses, but it is important to always pick high-quality glasses that keep your eyes safe, healthy, and out of danger. 

Luckily, Fuse is here for you! All of our lenses are made of an optical grade polycarbonate that offers 100% UV protection. We have hundreds of brands and frames on our site and we even make our own sunglasses! In addition to this, we offer a custom concierge program where we can custom make just about any lens you have. So, you can get rid of those questionable lenses and replace them with ones that will keep your eyes happy and healthy. 


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