We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are HEV Sunglasses?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
BeautyAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At BeautyAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Most quality sunglasses today block virtually all ultra-violet (UV) rays, but many researchers now believe rays in the near-UV range can also cause eye damage over time. The near-UV range is called high-energy visible (HEV), because it includes visible blue/violet light. HEV sunglasses filter out a large portion of this spectrum.

HEV damage is believed to be cumulative, appearing later in life in the form of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a condition of the retina that causes a loss of fine detail in vision. This is a chronic condition without cure. Protecting the eyes from near-UV light with HEV sunglasses can help to prevent potential problems later. If damage has already occurred, these sunglasses can minimize future exposure, lessening added damage.

The UV spectrum is divided into subcategories according to wavelengths as measured by nanometers (nm). A single nanometer is one billionth of a meter (3.3 feet). The HEV range includes wavelengths between 400 and 515 nm.

Specifications for HEV sunglasses note that they block near-UV light, blue light, or HEV light. All three terms refer to the same thing. The specifications might also indicate a threshold, such as “blocks blue light to 450nm.”

HEV sunglasses with yellow-tinted lenses block the complete HEV spectrum, distorting color perception by eliminating blue entirely. This could be troublesome for artists who work outdoors, for example, or for colorblind people who may have a hard time distinguishing the color of traffic lights. Also, many people simply prefer some blue light and find yellow lenses harsh. To stay closer to true color perception, you may want to choose HEV sunglasses with amber or melanin lenses, the latter of which offers the truest color perception among these types of sunglasses.

In addition to filtering out a good portion of blue light, HEV sunglasses should block 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Specifications might also mention UV-C rays, but this form of radiation does not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere, so protection is somewhat moot.

Children’s eyes are particularly susceptible to HEV and UV rays, as the lens of the eye has not yet developed the natural protection that blocks at least some UV and HEV light. Ocean, sand, pools, sidewalks, and snowy landscapes all reflect and intensify HEV and UV exposure. Children’s HEV sunglasses with 100% UV-A and UV-B protection can safeguard a child’s eyes, potentially lessening the chance of age-related ocular diseases later. Frames should fit snugly around the face in a wrap-around style so that sunlight cannot enter the eyes unfiltered.

While there are quality brand-name HEV sunglasses available from companies like Oakley, Maui Jim, Uvex and Revo, there are also many quality name brands that do not ioffer HEV protection. Price is not an indicator, nor is the darkness of a lens. If the sunglasses block a significant portion of the HEV spectrum, this will be indicated along with “100% UV protection.” An Eye Protection Factor (EPF) rating will also disclose how much HEV light is blocked.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Authordor — On Dec 16, 2013
@Ravellu: Yes! Always check the tinting of the glasses before purchase. The best sunglasses will have a uniform tint. This will give the greatest protection from potential UV and HEV damage. However, some sunglasses will have tinting concentrated to the top or both the top and bottom to reduce glare. The lighter tint to the center will allow for greater spectrum of 'true' color.
By Ravellu — On Dec 15, 2013

Does the variation in tinting have any bearing on protection?

BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.