When it comes to choosing sunglasses, it isn’t only about style. In order to protect your eyes from the summer sun, there are certain things you should look for in a pair of sunglasses. There are a lot of choices out there and it can seem overwhelming, so here are some tips to help you find the best protection for your eyes and avoid buying unsafe sunglasses.
Eyes Susceptible to Damage from UV Light
The sun’s rays can cause damage to our eyes, as well as our skin. Most of us apply sunscreen before spending time outdoors, but fail to recognize that our eyes are also susceptible to sunburn and cancer caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Other conditions that can damage our eyes include:
- Benign growths on the eye’s surface
- Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes
- Snow blindness, a painful sunburn of the eye’s surface
The importance of choosing sunglasses that protect our eyes from damaging UV rays can’t be over-emphasized.
Choose Style and Safety
Much fun and fashion surrounds sunglass design. We are often influenced by designer frames, celebrity trends and fads when it comes to buying sunglasses and forget the importance of sun protection. A great pair of sunglasses combines style with safety so you can have both.
5 Things to Avoid
There are five signs that a pair of sunglasses might not be up to standards. They are:
- No UVA/UVB Labeling – Sunglasses must block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. If this information isn’t on the label, the sunglasses will probably not block enough UV radiation to protect your eyes.
- Mottled Tint – The tint on sunglasses must be uniform, not darker in one area than another. Gradient lenses should be darkest at the top and lighten gradually toward the bottom. Experts say that a gray tint is best to maintain colour perception, especially important for drivers.
- Lenses that Distort Vision – Hold the sunglasses in front of you at arm’s length and choose a straight line in the distance, like a table edge or door frame. Now move the sunglasses slowing along the line. The edge you are looking at shouldn’t break, sway, curve or move. If it does, you’re looking at lenses with imperfections that can impair your eyesight.
- Lenses Not Blocking Enough Visible Light – If you look in the mirror while wearing a new pair of sunglasses and you are able to see your eyes, the sunglasses may not be blocking enough visible light.
- Flimsy Lenses – Lens materials need to be durable. Polycarbonate is a tough, lightweight plastic that is impact resistant. That lessens the chances of glasses breaking and causing eye injury.
While certain contact lenses absorb UV rays and have been proven to protect eyes, a good pair of sunglasses is still necessary to get full sun protection for your eyes.