Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may cause cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), skin cancer, sunburns, and premature aging of the skin. Wearing good quality sunglasses can protect the eyes from harmful effect of UV light.
When it comes to choosing sunglasses, the options are endless and confusing. Not all lenses are equal in terms of UV and blue light protection. Here are a few tips on selecting good optical quality of the lens and the correct level of protection.
The light spectrum is categorized by wavelength. If the light is in the visible spectrum, the wavelengths will determine its color. If it is in the ultraviolet range, these wavelengths determine its UV category (A, B or C)
A relatively new term, blue light can damage the retina, leading to AMD and blurring of vision.
Sun Lens features:
- The color, or tint, of the sunglass lens does not affect its UV and blue light protection. In fact, you can get UV 400 protection in some clear lens materials.
- Grey Lenses provide decreased brightness and glare while maintaining normal color perception; useful in very bright conditions.
- Brown Lenses block blue light to improve contrast and depth perception, but change color perception; great for overcast to sunny weather.
- Yellow Lenses are useful in lowlight and hazy conditions and also enhance contrast; useful in doors as well.
- Green Lenses provide mild increase contrast with maintaining color perception; another good general-=purpose lens.
- Pink and Red Lenses provide increased contrast but also alter color perception; can be useful in snowy conditions.
- A mirror on the front of your lenses will reflect most of the direct glare, essentially “squinting” so you don’t have to.
- A polarized filter in your sunglasses will eliminate reflected glare from the road, water and other flat shiny surfaces. With polarized lenses, you can see below the water’s surface, so they are great for fishing.
- A back surface anti-reflective coating will prevent light from bouncing off the back of the lens and into your eyes. This feature reduces glare.
- A photochromic lens will adjust to lighting conditions, getting darker as the lights gets brighter. A photochromic lens is activated by UVrays, so the lens will not change as much inside a car.
- Excellent quality sunglasses will be impact-resistant, light-weight and treated with an anti-scratch coating. They will have high-quality optics, provide sharp, clear and comfortable vision.
- Specialized tints are available for different sports and activities. You can get lenses that maximize your vision for tennis, golf, hunting and fishing.
Sun Frame Features:
- When choosing a sunglass frame, the most important thing to consider is its fit. The frame should fit close to your eyes and face to reduce the entry of bounce back glare. The frame has to be big enough to provide appropriate coverage and protection for your eyes.
- Most quality sunglasses will be available with your own prescription so you can enjoy clear vision outdoors.
- Clip-on sunglasses are available for most prescription glasses. Although these are an acceptable compromise, they add to the weight of you glasses. Also, there will be internal reflection between the two sets of lenses that decreases the quality of your vision.
- Select a frame style appropriate for your lifestyle. Fashion sunglasses are beautiful and fully functional at the beach and for running errands. A different style is recommended for sports and athletic activities. Something lightweight and more durable is better suited for increased activity.
Westside Optometry carries the following sunglasses: Maui Jim, Nike, Gucci, Kate Spade, Saks Fifth Avenue and Aspire.