The quality of sunglasses does not necessarily relate to their darkness or cost, so you must check the label to ensure they meet Australian Standards. Sunglasses that fit well and transmit very little UV radiation will ensure your eyes are protected.
For the best UV eye protection, choose sunglasses that:
- Meet Australian Standards for UV protection by checking that they are labelled as category 2, 3 or 4
- Are marked EPF (Eye Protection Factor) 9 or 10
- Have a bridge setting as close to your eyes as possible without touching your eyelashes
- Have side protection (wrap-around style) to block outside glare
Some great ways to reduce UV exposure for people who require prescription lenses are to add a UV protective coating to your prescription lenses, buy prescription sunglasses or sunglasses that can be worn over your glasses. Some contact lenses also have built-in UV protection, but it is recommended that you still wear sunglasses over the top to protect the rest of the eye.
EPF IS SPF FOR THE EYES
The Eye Protection Factor (EPF) is to non-prescription sunglasses what the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is to sunscreen. EPF is a scientifically applied rating designed to help you compare the efficiency of sunglasses protecting your eyes from UV. Ensure your sunglasses are labelled as offering EPF 9 or 10. Sunglasses labelled EPF10 exceed the requirements of the Australian Standard and may provide even greater protection.
Source: Optometry Australia