(WJBK) - When the sun is out, for many of us that means the sunglasses come out, too. But here's a real shocker: wearing sunglasses may be doing more harm than good.
Here's the dilemma. Those sunglasses are causing your pupils to open, which provides a perfect entry for dangerous rays.
"Most of the time the sun is just completely shinning UV rays right past your sunglasses into your eye," says Dr. Ken Mitton, a researcher at Oakland University Eye Institute. "During the day most of the UV is coming from the sun and if you're wearing really dark sunglasses - even if they're $500 dollar ones - they're dark, your pupils open up wider because it's dark, and all the UV light is coming over your sunglasses this way (from over the top)."
He says the real solution is to wear a hat.
"Researchers found out years ago, doing studies, that you're better off to have no sunglasses and a shaded eye because your pupils close down and you'll get less UV light into your eye," he says.
He says don't even justify buying those expensive sunglasses by thinking they will offer more protection.
"It turns out, most plastics absorb a lot of ultraviolet light, and so the very expensive designer sunglasses with UV coatings don't necessarily block that much more UV light than just regular, every day plastic does," he says.
The only style of sunglasses that really block out the light are those ones that wrap around the side of your head.
When UV light gets into your eyes it can lead to serious damage, such as macular degeneration or cataracts.