Ask Dr. Gilligan

Due to popular request… or just Nanc’s request, which is good enough for me:
(Disclaimer, I am not a Dr (OD)… I just happen to work for 4).

Nanc said:

Do dollar store sunglasses actually do any good? Do they actually protect you from UV rays?

I have a theory on sunglasses that unless you buy really expensive ones they don’t do any good. Because they let less light in so your pupil dilates more letting more UV rays in… so in effect you’re just wearing cancer causing machines on your face.

But I could be way off base… or you may already know the answer to this silly question and in which case perhaps this could become an advice column and you should change the name to “Ask Dr. Gilligan”

Well Nanc, most dollar store glasses do have UVA/UVB protection on them. If you don’t know, you can take your glasses into any optician and they should be able to check for you, especially if they have a newer lensometer (which is all we use. It takes about 30 seconds, not counting the time it takes you to walk over to the machine). However, “more expensive” lenses can be better because of what you said above (let more bad light in)… but only if they are polarized. It is amazing how many expensive glasses don’t actually have polarized lenses (for example, a lot of Oakley’s don’t)… I must say that I am absolutely loving my Maui Jim’s (which are polarized) and wouldn’t switch back to “regular” glasses for anything… unless I break my Maui’s and don’t work at an optometric clinic anymore, in which case I wouldn’t be able to afford my Maui’s.

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