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  • Made in the Shade

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    Jackie O. donned hers to hide from the paparazzi. The Blues Brothers didn't go anywhere without theirs. But there's more to wearing sunglasses than making a fashion statement.

    A good pair of sunglasses protects your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. Over time, excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation damages the eye, scarring the retina or causing cataracts. Whether you prefer the drugstore or the designer variety, read the label to make sure the lenses are coated to absorb both types of ultraviolet light. UV-A light, especially when reflected off sand, can burn the eye. UV-B is cumulative; its effects can show up years later. Maximum protection doesn't mean more expense. A $10 pair with 100 percent protection is better than $100 shades with only 10 percent UV blockage.

    When it comes to color, it's your choice. Brown or amber lenses are recommended because they also filter out blue light, which is linked to eye damage. Gray lenses don't distort colors, such as traffic lights.

    If you want to be fashionable and safeguard your eyes, choose wraparounds. Their sleek style is ideal for keeping the sun from sneaking in from any side.

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