Are Darker Sunglasses Better for Your Eyes?

Sunglasses are often worn for a variety of reasons. Most people choose the style they choose to make a fashion statement. But the reason most people chose to wear them is that they are looking to improve their vision and reduce glare when driving, playing sports, or fishing, but most of all they provide protection from harmful ultraviolet rays.

For many people, dark sunglasses are believed to be better for the eyes, but is this true? In fact, dark glasses can increase your pupil size allowing more light to get into your eyes. This is why it’s important to understand the different levels of darkness and their purpose.

There are plenty of benefits to wearing sunglasses with dark lenses. For example, they are good for reducing eye fatigue, minimizing glare, helping with light reduction, and providing true color perception. This is why dark sunglasses for sensitive eyes are best.

One of the most common misconceptions is that darker sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun. This just isn’t true. Very dark sunglasses won’t protect your eyes from the sun or its UV rays. In fact, wearing dark lenses actually causes your pupils to open wider. When your pupils open wider it allows more light into your eyes than would occur if you weren’t wearing sunglasses.

How do darker sunglass lenses protect your eyes?

While the color and darkness of the lenses don’t offer you UV protection they are the perfect solution for sensitive eyes.  Wearing very dark tinted sunglasses doesn’t equal to ultimate protection from the sun, but it will however reduce the amount of light to offer protection from light. These are beneficial extreme conditions.

Having a good pair of sunglasses is crucial if you struggle with light sensitivity. This pair of sunglasses needs to be effective at eliminating the discomfort that is caused by bright light without sacrificing comfort and style. 

If you struggle with constantly battling the discomfort caused by bright light, then dark sunglasses for sensitive eyes will help. These lenses are made to filter light. And if you choose wide or wrap-around frames it will provide better coverage for eyes to keep more light out. 

What is the best UV category for sunglasses?

Wearing sunglasses is the best way to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Protecting your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet light rays is essential and there are different categories of UV protection. But for ultimate protection, you’ll need to choose sunglasses that are labeled UV 400. UV 400 simply means that it will block wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. This offers you nearly 100% protection for your eyes. 

How do you know if sunglasses have UV protection?

When you’re purchasing a new pair of sunglasses it’s important that you understand how to tell if they are made of good quality and can provide the ultimate protection for your eyes. There are a few different things that you’ll need to know that will help guide you in choosing the right sunglasses.  

The Label lists the UV protection
Almost every quality sunglass brand will always indicate the type of UV protection right on their labels. Depending on the brand they will list it in one of two ways -  it will state that it is 100% UV protection or in the UV filter category such as UV 400. You want to choose sunglasses with a UV 400 lens since this will block out nearly all light rays and provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Test your sunglasses with a UV flashlight
Using a UV flashlight and a dollar bill you are able to test the quality of your sunglasses. When you shine the light against any paper money the watermark from the bill will light up. By placing your sunglasses in front of it you’re able to tell if they offer UV protection if your eyes cannot see it light up. 

How can you check the dark lens quality?

The quality of your dark lens is important to filter out ambient light and glare. There are some problems that can happen with dark sunglasses, such as making your pupils wider and allowing more light into your eyes.  And if the sunglasses don’t have UV protection this extra light entering your eyes increases your risks of damaging your eyes, and getting cataracts and macular degeneration. 

This is why choosing dark sunglasses that are equipped with 100% UV protection lenses is essential.

Another option for quality dark lenses is choosing polarized sunglasses. These are becoming increasingly more popular for good reasons. Polarized lenses have a filter that only allows vertically-oriented light to pass through. It blocks horizontally-oriented light, therefore, reducing glares, enhancing contrast, and improving visual clarity.

However, polarized lenses on their own will not block the sun’s UV rays, but you can find some that do. These types of glasses improve your vision in the sun making them the perfect options for driving and playing sports such as golf and baseball. Extra dark polarized sunglasses are great for many things except for driving at night. 

Wondering if you can darken sunglass lenses so that you can start wearing your favorite sunglasses with the added benefits of dark lenses? The answer is yes!

Choosing Extra Dark Sunglasses for Outdoors

Dark colors are one of the best choices for everyday use and nearly all types of outdoor activities. This is because most of the darker shades will help to lessen the glare and reduce eyestrain in most lighting conditions. You can find dark lens prescription sunglasses, super dark sunglasses for sensitive eyes, and special sunglasses for sensitive eyes.

In order to get the best protection, you’ll need to choose sunglasses based on their specific use. When selecting glasses for outdoors be sure that they provide UV protection. 

Here's some help to choose the right extra dark outdoor sunglasses,

  1. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB light provide ultimate protection. Be sure that you choose the highest level of UVA/UVB protection you can find. This will be printed right on the label or tag.

  2. Bigger sunglasses that wrap around your face. This provides additional protection by preventing the UV rays from getting into your eyes. 

  3. Polarized dark lenses will decrease glare. Glare comes off water or snow and makes enjoying your activities difficult.  Making polarized lenses a great option whether you’re lying on the beach, surfing, or skiing. You should know that polarization does not block UV rays, so be sure that they have UV protection. 

Sunglass Darkness Levels

Most recreational sunglasses are often category 2 or 3 lenses. These are perfect for everyday tasks such as driving, walking, and sport. However, their sunglass darkness levels come in five different categories. 

Here are the five different categories:Darker-Sunglasses

Category 0 lenses have little to no tint and are often used in prescription lenses. This level of tint barely reduces the darkness of the lens. They block 0 to 20% of light and the sunglasses in this category allow almost all, if not all, light through. 

Why are prescription sunglasses not dark? There are places that will allow you to add tint afterward if you want to make your glasses darker. 

Category 1 lenses have a more visible coloration to the lens. You can see the tint, but they do not provide much relief on bright sunny days. They block 20 to 57% of light making them okay for wear in very low-intensity sunlight. These would not be a good option for everyday sunglasses, but they do offer mild relief on bright days. This category is a popular choice for people who have sensitive eyes and live in very sunny locations. 

Category 2 lenses are visibly colored and available with darker lens tints. This tint blocks 57 to 82% of light. They absorb less than half of the sunlight through the lens and could be used as sunglasses on somewhat bright or overcast days which is considered to be average light. 

Category 3 lenses are perfect for everyday use as well as recreational activities such as driving, a day on the beach, sports, and more. They are able to absorb around two-thirds of visible light. It blocks 82 to 92% of light providing very good light-blocking abilities and is able to block intense sunlight and glare. These are perfect for everyday lenses.

Category 4 lenses are the darkest sunglasses and are not considered to be everyday glasses. They are too dark, but these are also the best darkest sunglasses for sensitive eyes. They block 92 to 97% of light-blocking most of the light that you are not able to wear them when driving. They are often used for high-altitude mountaineering, skiing, mountain climbing, high-altitude hiking, desert trekking, or other types of extreme exposure scenarios. 

Category 5 lenses are the same tint as the category 4 lenses, except that they absorb up to 92% of visible light. You can barely see through them because they are so dark. These are designed for high-exposure excursions to prevent snow blindness for mountaineers.

Super dark sunglasses for sensitive eyes

Choosing a category 4 tint would be ideal for people with light sensitivity issues. They are the darkest lenses available under ISO standards and perfect for use in extreme sun conditions

Why are prescription sunglasses not dark?

Many optical shops will offer tinted lenses as an option. But the tint often depends on your vision and eye health.  Your eye doctor may recommend a certain tint that is best for your eyes health. There are places that will allow you to add tint afterward if you want to make your glasses darker.

Check out our Super Dark Sunglasses!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published