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Sunglass your face

Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but more importantly, sunglasses are of extreme importance when it comes to maintaining healthy eyes. Good quality sunglasses are a must, especially when you are outdoors! Wearing sunglasses is important as they can improve visual comfort and clarity by protecting eyes from glare. One can choose from the classic styles like the wayfarers and aviators to the modern oversized shades.

Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear designed primarily to prevent bright sunlight and high energy visible light from damaging or discomforting the eyes.  Direct sunlight sometimes becomes too bright for comfort especially during outdoor activities and one does need good eye protection from bright lights, ultra violet radiation and blue light, which can prevent serious eye damage. Tinted glasses without any Ultra Violet (UV) protection can cause more damage than wearing no glasses.

What makes the ideal pair of sunglasses?

The type of lens material, colour, polarization, gradation and mirroring all combine to make a pair of effective sunglasses.

  • Sunglass lenses are made either of plastic or glass. Although glass lenses have the best optical clarity and are scratch resistant, they are heavier than plastic lenses and can easily break on impact. Plastic lenses on the other hand are lighter and shatter resistant, but at the same time more prone to scratching.
  • The colour of the lens can vary depending on style, fashion and purpose. However, for general use, shades of red, grey, green or brown are recommended to avoid or minimize colour distortion, which could affect safety when, for instance, driving a car, motorcycle or simply taking a walk on a sunny day.
  • Polarized lenses in sunglasses contain a special filter that blocks intense reflected light, thereby reducing glare. These have been a great innovation, greatly enhancing user comfort and visibility. Polarized sunglasses offer several advantages for sports and other outdoor activities. Many polarized sunglasses today are available in combination with other features that can enhance outdoor experiences. Polarized sunglasses can also be worn indoors by people with high sensitivity to light, including patients recovering from cataract surgery and those continually exposed to bright light through windows.
  • Gradient glasses are darker at the top of the lens where the sky is viewed and transparent at the bottom.
  • For those looking for corrective lenses, sunglasses can also be manufactured with either tinting or darkening features. These include polarized photochromic lenses, which gradually darken when exposed to Ultra Violet (UV) light and are ideal for light- sensitive person.

Things to keep in mind while buying sunglasses

  • While shopping for sunglasses it is important to look for sunshades which not only block harmful ultra violet light but also cover the entire eye area, including the eyelids. It is important to ensure that the sunglasses fit properly especially when you are wearing them to protect your eyes. The lenses should fit close enough to the face to protect against stray light from the sides. Ideally, the lenses should fit close enough to the temples and not too close to the eyelashes. Larger lenses or wraparound sunglasses worn by athletes prevent light from entering in.
  •  Medical experts usually recommend sunglasses that reflect or filter out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB lights. The correct way to assess if your sunglasses are UV rays safe is to have the lens measured by the manufacturer or check out for labelling on fashion sunglasses indicating whether the sunglass meet the requirements of a specific Ultra Violet standard.
  • Dark coloured sunglasses do not necessarily provide better protection. A clear chemical coating applied to the lens is responsible for UV protection and not the lens colour. So one needs to keep in mind while purchasing sunglasses.
  • Sunglasses offer protection against excessive exposure to ultra violet radiation and blue light which can cause short-term eye problems like cataract; photo keratitis or snow blindness. Long term exposure to blue and violet portions of the sun’s spectrum can cause loss of vision. It is even more important to protect yourself against skin cancer by wearing sunglasses. Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes is very common and most people are not aware of it.
  • At a more basic level, the sun’s brightness and glare can sometimes interfere with your vision and cause your eyes to squint or water. Frequent squinting not only affects your eyesight but also leads to wrinkles around your eyes, which may affect your appearance. This makes it even more important to wear sunglasses outdoors whether you are working, driving, playing sports, taking a walk or doing any activity in the sun.
  • Another aspect to look out for while purchasing sunglasses is to find a pair that protects against impact. Sunglasses prove an ideal way to protect yourself against small debris like specks of dust lifted by wind, which may cause irritation and damage to the eyes.
  • Fashion trends are of course a great reason for wearing sunglasses. Some of the popular styles include aviator sunglasses, gradient lenses, mirrored sunglasses, oversized sunglasses and wayfarers. Many people purchase sunglasses suiting their face cut and what is popular and fashionable. While others wear sunglasses which need to be specialized. For example, athletes wear sunglasses which have to meet special requirements when worn for sports. They need dark coloured, shatterproof and impact-resistant lenses; a strap or other fixing to keep glasses in place during sporting activities, and they have a nose cushion. Major brands manufacturing high quality sunglasses are Oakley Inc. , Ray-Ban, Kaenon Polarized, Reebok sports among others.

Sunglasses keeps your eyes  healthy

Wearing protective eyewear is important not just on sunny days, but also on cloudy days and during winter months. One must check to make sure that your sunglass lenses are perfectly matched in colour and are free of any distortions and imperfections. Even children and teenagers need to invest in sunglasses, as they too are vulnerable to the damaging effects of sunlight. So get in the habit of putting your sunglasses on, not just to look great but to protect your eyes!