PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sunglasses are key to protecting our eyes from harmful UV rays. But do you really need to pay a lot of money to get good glasses?
Consumer editor Susan Koeppen put some sunglasses to the test.
KDKA purchased several pairs of sunglasses ranging in price from $3.99 to $300. Some were from discount and party supply stores, and others were from major retailers and expensive boutiques.
“Wearing a bad pair of sunglasses or no sunglasses is a bad scenario,” says Brad Childs from Eyetique.
Childs tested our sunglasses with a device called a photometer.
“This machine is going to tell us if lenses are what they say they are,” he says.
All of sunglasses we purchased claimed to have 100 percent UV protection.
Our $300 glasses from Chanel were as advertised. They had 100 percent UV protection. We then tested the cheapest pair. They, too, had 100 percent UV protection. In fact, all the glasses we tested came back with 100 percent UV protection.
So what else are you getting when you pay a lot for sunglasses?
“Hopefully, you are going to get a great optical lens that is clear not only when you look through the center, but all over the lens. And, you are going to have a back coating so the rays don’t come in from behind and bounce around like a satellite dish,” says Childs.
UV rays can lead to the development of cataracts, corneal damage, retinal damage and wrinkles. The folks at Eyetique say you should be wearing sunglasses every day, sunny or not.
Also, a pair of sunglasses that does not have UV protection can be worse for your eyes than squinting. That’s because the tinted lens will allow your pupil to dilate and let in more harmful rays than if you squint.