What Qualities Should I Look for in a Pair of Sunglasses? By Gordon Wong, OD on May 01, 2024

woman wearing sunglasses and a hat

It may seem simple–pick out a pair of sunglasses that look great on you. However, a quality pair of sunglasses will do more than simply help you from squinting in the sun. Let's explore what you should look for when purchasing a pair of sunglasses, and how GW Eye Associates: Optometry in La Jolla and Del MarCA, can help you protect your vision from the harsh rays.

Why Are Sunglasses Important?

Glasses do more than simply prevent the sun from glaring in your eyes. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states that sunglasses can help prevent skin cancers around the eyes, as well as minimize your risk of developing issues such as cataracts, eye cancer, pterygium (surfer’s eye), or macular degeneration. 

What to Look for in a Quality Pair of Sunglasses

More expensive does not always mean quality. Just because a pair of sunglasses are expensive, doesn't mean they are good. 

UV Protection

Ensure the sunglasses you purchase offer 100% protection from UV light. Darker lenses do not always mean they are better or offer complete protection. It is important that you look for a sticker or some sort of tag that states "100 percent UV protection from all UV light" or "UV absorption up to 400nm." 

Visible Light Screening

The American Optometric Association suggests purchasing sunglasses that filter out 75 to 90% of visible light. The Glaucoma Research Foundation suggests that when you try on a pair of sunglasses, stand in front of a mirror. If you can easily see your eyes through the lenses, the glasses probably do not offer the level of protection you need. 


Not only should you find a frame shape and size that fits the shape of your face, but you should also look for larger sunglasses that reduce the light that may enter your eyes from the sides of the frame. With sunglasses, oversized or wrap-around frames are best.


A good pair of sunglasses is an investment. You want to look for a pair that is made from durable material. Most importantly, you want to ensure the lenses are free from imperfections that may do more harm to your vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states to do this, you can cover one eye, look at something with a rectangular pattern like a tile floor, hold the glasses at a comfortable distance from your face, and move them. If the lines do not look straight, pick another pair.


If you wear prescription glasses, it is best to get a pair that includes prescription lenses so you do not have to forego vision correction when you wear them.

Protect Your Vision from the Sun

If you need a pair of quality sunglasses or wish to speak with our doctors about prescription sunglasses, our offices in La Jolla and Del Mar, CA, offer an array of designer frames and sunglasses, all crafted in our on-site lab. We can help you find a pair that fits your needs, your face, and most importantly, protects your vision from the harsh rays of the sun. Contact us today to request a consultation.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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