Shady Sunglasses

Sunglasses should do more than make you look cool.

Like sunscreen for your skin, the right sunglasses can protect your eyes from short and long term damage from the sun.

In your quest for the safest shades...don't be blinded by that pricier pair.

Retail marketing expert John Cicala says, "There is a perception that higher quality is equated with higher price."

The amount of protection from ultraviolet radiation, commonly called UVA and UVB rays, is not dependant upon the color, the style or the price of the sunglasses that you buy.

Eye doctor James Venable says, "You can have 99 to 100 percent UV blocking from a 5 dollar pair of sunglasses to a 250 dollar pair of sunglasses."

At the Southern College of Optometry's Eye Center, Action News Five asked Chief of Staff James Venable to put that theory to the test

A 250-dollar pair of Gucci's scored very high on this special device that measures UV protection.

Venable says, "They're blocking 100 percent of the UVA and UVB."

We worked our way down in price...finally testing a 5 dollar pair of glasses.

Each pair was equally safe.  So what are you getting for your money when you spring for those high end shades?

Venable continues, "Typically, what causes a variation in the price point is the style of the frame rather than the lense itself."

And remember...federal regulators don't require sunglass manufacturers to protect your eyes.

When you spot your next set of shades and want to know if they're a deal or not a deal...look closely at the label and the promise that your glasses come with ninety-nine to one hundred percent protection from UVA and UVB radiation.