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Cheap sunglasses may be easy on your wallet but if you choose the wrong pair they could be very damaging to your eyes. Many people think that just because they're wearing sunglasses their eyes are protected but if those shades don't meet certain codes you're better off not wearing them at all.
Always look for sunglasses that have a certification sticker on them saying that they block out the minimum required UV rays. The pupils of your eyes naturally constrict in sunlight but if they are behind cheap sunglasses that don't block harmful rays they will actually let in more light. This can increase the damage to your eyes from harmful UV rays.
So how do you know if your cheap sunglasses offer enough protection? A quick at home test is to put on your sunglasses and look in the mirror. If you can see your eyes clearly through your sunglass lenses they may not be dark enough to offer the right level of protection. If you are still unsure about the safety of your sunglasses you can take them to your optometrist where they will perform a UV blockage test.
Don't forget the kids when buying sunglasses. Though you may be tempted to buy a very cheap pair of sunglasses for your kids because they might loose them or scratch them don't forget their little eyes need proper protection too. If you can't find quality sunglasses for your children or don't want to spend the money on the good ones you're better off outfitting them with a wide brimmed hat.