Factors in choosing sunglasses
As the name indicates, sunglasses are usually used to protect the eyes from sunlight. If your eyes are over-exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, you would have serious eye problems that may not become apparent until you are much older. Generally, young individuals are more susceptible to sun exposure than the old because they spend more time outdoors.
UV rays and blue light are quite harmful
You should wear sunglasses under the sun, especially at midday when UV rays are most intense. People’s eyes are more susceptible to UV-related skin cancer than other parts of the body, so that extra protection is very essential. Many studies show that UV rays can cause cataracts and also damage the cornea. People who do not wear sunglasses or brimmed hats are prone to suffer cataracts.
Because tanning lamps also transmit UV rays, you’d better use the protective eyewear because regular sunglasses don’t provide adequate protection against multi-directional UV rays in tanning booths. Short-wavelength visible light (sometimes called “blue light”) has slightly less energy, but it may lead to macular degeneration.
Use polarized sunglasses to fight against sunlight reflection
Besides direct sunlight, you should also pay attention to the reflected sunlight and UV rays. When you are near surfaces that reflect UV rays, make sure you have worn sunglasses. Reflective surfaces include water, snow, sand, roadways, and glass and so on. Polarized lenses with special lens material can selectively block reflected lights. Certain medications such as antibiotics make people sensitive to sunlight. In this case, sunglasses are particularly helpful.
UV protection is also needed in cloudy days
Compared with sunny days, UV protection during cloudy days is also important. Though UV rays may be less intense, they can still be harmful. Regular glasses and contact lenses are different. Sunglasses can not only block UV rays, but also shield your eyes from wind and dust. So even if you have contacts, a pair of non-prescription sunglasses is still needed in some situations.
General considerations of sunwear selection
Choosing a pair of suitable sunglasses is a big task. Fortunately, sunglasses that provide excellent UV filters are not always expensive. It means that UV protection is not closely related to sunwear price. As UV protection is separated from the color of the lens, you can choose a lens color based on personal tastes. Photochromic lenses are the kind that enables you to enjoy outdoor activities without having to apply clip-on sunglasses to regular eyeglasses. Although they block a significant amount of UV rays, sometimes they may not darken to your satisfaction. In this case, you can consider a customized pair of clip-on sunglasses.
What kinds of sunwear lenses are available now?
If you require acute vision, brown lenses can be your choice which can enhance contrast. But you should be aware that some traffic light colors will be covered by this kind of lenses. Moreover, you need to take darkness of the lens into account. On bright days, dark sunglass lenses are more helpful. During driving, it is feasible to choose gradient lenses which have different degrees of darkness in different areas of the lens. But these lenses do not provide effective protection from glares caused by light reflection. For extremely bright conditions, mirrored lenses are a great choice.
Remember to factor in product quality
The quality of frames and lenses is also an important factor. Be sure that there is no distortion throughout the lenses. You should inspect the frame carefully and check whether it fits you best. In addition, you should be sure that there are no imperfections in tints. For the greatest protection against UV rays, you can choose sunglasses with large lenses.