What is UV400?

What is UV400? 

UV400 refers to the UV light protection level of a pair of sunglasses or other eyewear. Sunglasses that have this rating can block UVA rays and UVB rays with wavelengths of up to 400 nanometers. What does this mean? This means that the lenses are able to block 99 - 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays!

When deciding on a pair of sunglasses, it is important to check the level of UV protection (if available). By doing this you can know how protected your eyes are and you will be able to wear your sunglasses with confidence in a wide variety of environments with extreme levels of sun exposure.

The importance of UV400 protection

It's important! The World Health Organization actually strongly recommends utilizing eyewear that provides UV400 protection. Previously, it was thought that eyewear that protects UV rays up to 380 nanometers was enough but after further research this is not the case. Eyewear that protects against UV rays up to 380 nanometers still allows 20% of UV rays to reach your eyes. 

There are many different levels of light rays produced by the sun. The type of rays that you are probably most familiar with are UV rays. What isn’t common knowledge is the fact that the two most damaging kinds of UV rays are UVA and UVB rays.

If you have too much exposure to these damaging rays you can actually burn your eyes. This is a type of sunburn called photokeratitis where your cornea is damaged. It is especially important to keep your eyes protected when you are spending a large amount of time in the snow. Fortunately, this condition is usually temporary but long-term exposure can definitely be a concern. 

UV400 Protection Benefits

- Eyewear with this protection level are able to filter 99-100% of UVA rays. 

- It keeps the important cells in your eyes cooler than normal sunglasses. The cooler the cells in your eyes the better. 

- It is able able to reduce HEV which can be harmful to the retina. HEV stands for high-energy visible light. HEV rays can also potentially be damaging. 

- It protects the eyes from potential long-term negative health effects. Exposing your eyes to high energy rays over a period of years can cause potential irreversible damage.

Are sunglasses with no UV400 protection better than no sunglasses at all?

No! You are actually better off not wearing sunglasses at all if they don’t have UV400 protection. When you wear tinted lenses it allows less light to come in so your eyes will dilate more. Since your eyes are essentially opening up you are allowing more harmful UV light into them! A good rule of thumb is that if they don’t have UV400 protection they don’t belong outside. Check out our collection of UV400 protective sunglasses here.

Do you still need UV400 protection during the winter?

Absolutely! During the winter it is even more important to make sure you're protected. UV light will reflect off snow and ice and can double the amount of UV entering your eyes. So when outside in the winter make sure you're wearing your shades or if you're on the mountains snowboarding or skiing make sure you have some snow goggles handy. Our collection of Ski and Snowboard goggles all are UV400 protective as well!

Should you purchase UV400 sunglasses?

While some sunglasses are not going to provide UV400 protection, you now know of the importance of protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Should you purchase sunglasses with this level of protection? Absolutely! If you are going to be spending a large amount of time outdoors or driving we highly recommend using sunglasses with this level of protection to protect your eyes from potential negative long term health consequences. After all, you only get one pair of eyes. Even if you live in a climate that isn’t particularly sunny these rays can still penetrate the clouds and damage your eyes so it is still important to protect yourself. All of our sunglasses, moto goggles, and snow goggles here at Detour are made with UV400 protection so all you have to do is pick out your favorite pair of sunglasses.




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