To splurge or not to splurge: are expensive sunglasses worth it? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

To splurge or not to splurge: are expensive sunglasses worth it?

Look for the UV protection sticker. (Source: $1 Jewelry and More) Look for the UV protection sticker. (Source: $1 Jewelry and More)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - ZZ Top sang about cheap sunglasses, but Tom Cruise made Ray Ban's famous.

But which are better for your eyes when it comes to sun protection?

Turns out, there's not much difference between the cheap shades and high-end sunglasses when it comes to protection.

According to Ryne Wood, an optometrist at Leet EyeCare, both will provide 100 percent ultraviolet protection, whether you pay $7 or $250.

The key is to make sure it is labeled about UV protection.

Doctors say you want to look for that little sticker that says they protect from at least 99 percent of ultraviolet a and b rays.

Wood said while sunglasses make a great accessory, the key is protecting your eyes.

"Anytime you're outside and we have a decent clear day sunglasses will make a big difference," Wood said. "With that sun damage it's not the effects so much now as it is later on in life. You're looking at early cataracts, macular degeneration, melanoma."

Wood said the main difference between sunglasses is the quality.

"Just like anything else you get what you pay for," Wood said. There are some great cost effective, 100 percent u-v lenses and then there's the higher end market where you're going to get a little nicer product."

Essentially, a higher end pair of sunglasses typically means sturdier frames and even polarized lenses.

Wood encourages everyone to wear eye protection throughout the year.

He said that goes for kids as well.

Recent research shows more than three-fourths of the damage to your eyes by the sun is done before the age of 18.

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