Not all sunglasses are the same 🕶️ What to look for when you’re shopping for shades

When you think of sunglasses, you may only be thinking about style but Consumer Reports warns you should be thinking about safety too.

When you think of sunglasses, you may be thinking style, but Consumer Reports warns you should be thinking about safety too. The reason: the same harmful rays that cause skin cancer can also damage your eyes -- and not all pairs of shades offer the right protection.

“Sun damage to the eyes accumulates slowly over time… and it could contribute to a higher risk of cataracts or macular degeneration,” explained Consumer Reports Health Editor Catherine Roberts.

Just as sunscreen shields your skin by blocking UV radiation, sunglasses can shield your eyes from damaging rays.

But with so many choices -- at prices ranging from a few bucks to a few hundred dollars -- Roberts says finding the right sunglasses is important.

“Opt for sunglasses that fully block both UVA and UVB. You can look for a label that says they offer 100-percent UV protection, or ‘UV absorption up to 400NM,’ which means the same thing,” she said.

CONSUMER REPORTS: Find the right sunglasses to protect your eyes

If you wear glasses, Consumer Reports says you can get non-tinted corrective lenses that have UV protection built-in. Also, polarized lenses don’t block UV rays on their own, but they can help you see better on bright days by reducing glare with light-blocking filters. Because of that, they’re great for boating and fishing since they reduce the glare on the water.

And when it comes to style, Roberts says the bigger the glasses the better.

The larger lenses protect the sensitive skin around your eyes too -- which is area of your face that is hard to cover with sunscreen. (Provided by Consumer Reports)

“Larger lenses or wraparound style glasses will help keep the sun from reaching your eyes,” she said.

The larger lenses protect the sensitive skin around your eyes too -- which is an area of your face that is hard to cover with sunscreen. And, if you pair those sunglasses with a hat, you’ll have even better protection!

Lastly, when it comes to cost, Consumer Reports says the most effective sunglasses are not necessarily the most expensive. There are plenty of affordable pairs on the market that block 100% of UV rays.