Are Vintage Sunglasses Safe?

Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by amy

Vintage sunglasses are a great option to buy if you’re looking for a trendy pair of sunglasses; they haven’t gone out of style in decades so you can make them an investment for your stylish future. Going in this direction with many of your style choices will create a timeless wardrobe. Vintage sunglasses can look great, but have you ever considered the health implications of wearing them? You must remember that sunglasses haven’t always had UV protection, something that you must always be prepared for in sunny or snowy weather.

Vintage sunglasses from before the late 1980s may not have UV protection. This is because back then there were no regulations on the need for UV protection in sunglasses. Very old sunglasses that may have once had UV protection may have been through a little wear and tear, meaning that they no longer offer the UV protection that is needed.

You should make sure that vintage lenses have UV protection. Wearing sunglasses without UV protection is more damaging to your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all. This is because your pupil becomes dilated, allowing unfiltered radiation to flood in.

Many of us already know about the negative health effects that UV radiation has on our skin. But there is not much point in lathering on the SPF 50, only to wear vintage sunglasses that offer no UV protection for your eyes. Allowing excess UV radiation into your eyes can result in many health issues such as photokeratitis, photoconjunctivitis, pterygium, cataracts, cancer of the eye, and many other scarily named diseases.

If your sunglasses are a well-known brand form the late 1980s onwards, then you are probably fine, however it is best to check. You can get lenses checked by an optician to make sure that the lenses filter UV, and if this type of protection is still working. Most opticians will be able to carry out this service for you.

UV protection is a simple coating that is laid on top of the lens. This UV coating is known to wear off over time, so even if those vintage sunglasses that you bought were originally offered UV protection they may not anymore. An option if you are planning to wear your vintage sunglasses out in the sun is to get them reglazed. This is relatively cheap, but it is still worth doing some shopping around to find a retailer that you trust with your vintage sunglasses. After all, they have lasted for decades before you got your hands on them!

You must stay alert when buying vintage sunglasses online, as many are simply knockoffs made in a vintage style, rather than the real deal. It may also be the case that these cheap and nasty knock offs don’t include the UV protection that they should, so be careful.

If you are concerned about the UV protection that vintage sunglasses offer but still want to wear them, then there are several sites that sell the glasses with modernised UV protection, for example