Even if you slather on sunscreen to your face and body religiously, you may be leaving your most important asset at risk. The Vision Council reports that more than 25% of U.S. adults rarely or never wear sunglass, and nearly two-thirds are unaware of the link between UV exposure and cataracts and age-related macular degeneration!

Luckily, sunglasses are the best and most fashionable way to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.

No matter what your style or price point – from chic aviators to lux wayfarers  to the $10 gas station pair stashed in your glove box for emergencies  –  follow these tips to protect your eyes from sun damage!

Tip 1

Before you slap that credit card down to purchase a new pair, make sure the lenses block 100 percent of UV rays. Look for a label on the lens or in the packaging. Or even better, check out the selection at your eye doctor’s office so your optician ensure UV protection, help with fit and style and alert you of any additional discounts with your VSP plan.

Tip 2

Polarize or not to polarize? If your outdoor activity spans more than just soaking up rays poolside, you may want to opt for polarized sunglasses. Polarized means they have a special filter that blocks glare from the sun, especially on waterways, roadways, trails and the golf course. You’ll need to ensure the lenses also have 100% UV protection and be cautious around LED screens like your cell phone, tablet or LED-dashboards because they will be hard to read.

Tip 3

Sunglasses fall off your face when you look down? When not in use, fold your sunglasses on your shirt instead of wearing them on top of your head. Most sunglasses are made of plastic so they soften and stretch in the heat. To keep your sunglasses looking their best, make sure their protective case is around, and don’t leave them baking in the car!

Tip 4

Don’t forget about the kids! The earlier kids wear sunglasses the better. Damaging UV exposure in children’s eyes is more intense that adults. Make sure you follow Tip #1 to ensure quality and fit and post photos! Nothing cuter than a little hipster kid in aviators.

Tip 5

Darker the better? Not necessarily. The coating that blocks UV radiation is clear. So if gray, green or brown lenses match your style profile, go for it. In addition, those colors are good choices when driving. Be wary of yellow or rose tinted lenses, as they make it difficult to distinguish changes in traffic lights. But if you find yourself squinting while wearing sunglasses, you may want to go a shade darker and look into prescription lenses.

The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice.