Did you know that sunglasses can expire? The sunglasses you’re wearing every day may have expired, especially if you’ve had them for more than two years. That’s the typical expiration.
A retina surgeon tells us how you can test your sunglasses at home and what to look for when you buy.
“What people don’t realize is that prolonged exposure of sunglasses to UV Rays from the sun will actually damage the coating of the UV protection,” said Retina Surgeon Dr. Shawn Kovaoussi with the Berkeley Eye Center.
Kovaoussi said this could leave you open to a number of eye-related health issues.
“Sunglasses with UV protection are critical to protect your eyes and multiple structures in the eyes from damage. You can get damage from the sun even on your eyelids,” said Kovaoussi.
Related: There’s more to that painful sunburn
How do you know if your sunglasses have expired?
There’s a great way to test them at home. You can order a UV flashlight online and shine that against a $5, $10, $20, $50 or $100 bill. When the watermark from the bill lights up, put the sunglasses in front of it. If it disappears, then you’ll know your sunglasses are still working.
How do you shop for the right lens protection?
“When you’re shopping for sunglasses, you want to look for the 400 UV label that means the sunglasses will protect 99 to 100 percent of the ultra violet rays from the sun. You want to look for both UVA and UVB protection,” said Kovaoussi.
Certain types of sunglasses will also be marked with a “P” indicating they are polarized. Kovaoussi explains it’s different from UV protection, almost like an additive effect. Either way, make sure you’re buying glasses with the 400 UV label.
Free download: Access Connecticut breaking news, weather, stream newscasts live and more on-the-go with News 8 alerts directly to your phone.