Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive
My husband believes that the UV coating on his prescription lenses is enough to protect his eyes from the sun. What recommendations do you have concerning prescription lenses with UV coating versus sunglasses? Thank you.
UV coatings on prescription clear lenses are as effective as those on sunglasses. It is not the dark tint that is important. Plastic lenses need to have a UV coating applied. Polycarbonate lenses block UV rays without an additional coating. UV rays are involved in the development of cataracts, eye-surface problems like pterygia and pingueculae, and macular degeneration. UV protecting lenses may reduce your risk of developing one of these problems. If you purchase non-prescription sunglasses, make certain that they block 100 percent of the UV rays. Dark glasses that do not filter UV light may actually put your eyes at greater risk because your pupils may remain larger, thus allowing more unfiltered UV rays to enter.
Answered by: Aaron Weingeist, MD
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