How Protective are Your Sunglasses?

mgam Maui Jim Protective Sunglasses

Questions for Maui Jim….


The sunglasses we can buy from almost all high street fashion chains are very affordable and fashionable. Are cheap sunglasses necessarily bad for our eyes?

“Cheap” sunglasses can be damaging to the eye if they do not protect from harmful UV rays.  A dark lens that does not block UV will cause the pupil to dilate, allowing more UV rays to enter the eye.  A non-polarized lens will not eliminate glare, resulting in “squinting” by the wearer, which can lead to headaches and wrinkles surrounding the eye.  Glare can also be especially dangerous while driving.  26% of all daytime accidents are attributed to glare, which can be avoided if wearing a high quality, polarised lens.


A lot of the sunglasses we can buy in the UK fashion chains do have the EU standards label. So what are EU standards? If they pass the EU standards then surely they are ok to wear?

Here is how the EU Standards are defined:
The European standard EN 1836:2005 has four transmittance ratings: “0” for insufficient UV protection, “2” for sufficient UHV protection, “6” for good UHV protection and “7” for “full” UHVV protection, meaning that no more than 5% of the 380 nm rays are transmitted. Products which fulfil the standard receive a CE mark. There is no rating for transmittance protection for radiation of up to 400 nm (“UV400”), as required in other countries (inc. the United States) and recommended by experts. In addition to filtering, the standard also lists requirements for minimum robustness, labelling, materials (non-toxic for skin contact and not combustible) and lack of protrusions (to avoid harm when wearing them).
All Maui Jim Sunglasses meet or exceed all EU standards as well as all US,  ANSI and Australian AS/NZS standards.


What does it mean when a pair of sunglasses say they offer 100% UV protection?

100% protection would indicate that testing has proven that the pair of sunglasses will block 100% of UVA and UVB rays from the sun.  All Maui Jim Sunglasses have received the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin.  Many lens materials, such as polycarbonate, provide some level of protection that is inherent to the lens material itself.  Others use UV treatments, filters, or films to increase the level of protection.  Treatments that are applied to the front side of the lens may deteriorate over time, this increasing the risk of UV exposure to the eye(s).


Maui Jim offers a range of coloured lenses but are some colours better at protecting our eyes than others?

All Maui Jim sunglass colours and lens materials block 99% of glare and 100% of UVA/UVB rays.  Each lens colour offers a different level of light transmission, meaning more or less light passes through the lens.  Depending on light conditions and eye sensitivity, some lens colours will provide more comfort for the wearer in bright sunshine versus overcast conditions.  Maui Jim’s Neutral Grey lens is recommended for bright sunny days, while the MauiHT lens is recommended for cloudy or overcast days.


Should we wear the same sunglasses for different activities or is it important to wear sunglasses that are fit for purpose? As an example should we have a pair for cycling and a pair for sunbathing?

Maui Jim Sunglasses are designed to be the most versatile sunglasses on the market.  Our lightweight lens and frame materials, quality, impact resistance, and comfort levels allow for wearers to transition between activities without having to change sunglasses.  Some lens material and frame combinations will offer better comfort for different activities, but it ultimately is the consumer’s choice whether they desire specific frames or materials for specific activities.  For example, we recommend MauiBrilliant, MauiPure, or Polycarbonate for contact sports as they have a higher level of shatter resistance.  An ST Glass lens will have a lower lever of shatter resistance, but its solvent resistance makes it a great choice for activities where you come into contact with salt water (boating, sailing, fishing, etc.).


What should consumers look for when buying a pair of sunglasses to make sure they are properly protected?

Your eyes need looking after to prolong your vision so seek the advice from your local optician but definitely, go for a pair with a polarized lens.


Next up, Essilor!