From convenience stores to mall kiosks, it's easy to find an attractive pair of cheap sunglasses. But sunglasses are more than fashion accessories -- they also protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. The National Eye Institute warns that long-term exposure can have damaging effects ranging from cataracts and macular degeneration to blindness. Before buying any pair of sunglasses, be sure they're labeled "100 percent UV protection," "maximum UV protection," or "UV400." This indicates that the lenses block all harmful wavelengths, up to 400 nanometers.
These 14 stylish sunglasses for men, women, and children offer the recommended level of protection for less than $35. According American Academy of Ophthalmology, cheap sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection are no less effective than high-end pairs. Many of the sunglasses featured here also have polycarbonate lenses, as opposed to glass, polyurethane, or acrylic, which makes them durable, lightweight, and suitable for physical activity. Wear sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat for even better protection.
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