We all know about the danger of sun exposure to our skin, but have you considered what the sun does to your eyes?

Quality UV protection from sunglasses 52 weeks a year protects your eyes from eye disease and vision loss. That means wearing sunglasses in summer, spring, autumn AND winter!

The Australian Skin Cancer Foundation’s research shows that eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than your skin. Too much exposure to UV radiation can contribute to eye conditions and diseases including cataracts, ptergium, and cancer of the skin around the eye.

Sunglasses are essential protection from UV rays, like sunscreen protects your skin, good sunglasses protect your eyes.

Wrap-around sunglasses with polarised lenses sit close to your face and wrap around the sides of your eyes, so offer maximum protection.

Children are most at risk

Children and teenagers are more sensitive to UV than adults. Research shows that only 32% of Australian children are protecting their eyes from harmful UV, if your children are in the 68% that aren’t protected, you should seriously consider taking action.

Eyewear protection

Polarised sunglasses are a great choice to reduce glare, especially if you spend a lot of time around the water.

Consider prescription sunglasses for added convenience, and better vision.

Australian standards for sunglasses

There is a mandatory safety standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles in Australia.

All sunglasses and fashion glasses must be tested and labelled according to the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles (AS/NZS 1067:2016 Eye and face protection: Sunglasses and fashion spectacles).

This standard sets limits for the allowable light and UVR transmittances of fashion spectacles and sunglasses in both adults and children’s wear.

Sunglasses tested to Australian requirements offer more UVR protection than sunglasses tested to international standards.

Choose sunglasses that are fit for purpose

Choosing sunglasses, is more than making sure you like how they look.

Consider when you are going to wear them, and what you’ll be doing. If you are going to be playing a sport where you move around a lot, choose a pair that won’t easily fall off your face.

Outdoor work

Those who work outside can choose eye protection that meets the Australian standard for occupational eye protectors (AS/NZS 1337 Personal eye protection: Eye and face protectors for occupational applications).

These glasses provide UVR protection and reduced glare outdoors.


Sunglasses and fashion spectacles are classified into five categories.

Lens category 0:

Fashion spectacles – These are not sunglasses, they have very low ability to reduce sun glare and provide limited or no UV protection.

Lens category 1:

Fashion spectacles – these are not sunglasses, but provide limited sun glare reduction and some UV protection.

Lens category 2:

Sunglasses – they provide a medium level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.

Lens category 3:

Sunglasses – a high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. This is the level of protection that your optometrist will prescribe for you.

Lens category 4:

Highly specialised sunglasses that provide a very high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Lens category 4 sunglasses are very dark and must not be used when driving at any time.