Sunglasses make it easier for us to see by protecting our delicate eyes from the harsh UV rays. The ultraviolet rays have the potential to cause both long-term and short-term eye damage. That’s why you must wear the perfect sunglasses to ensure maximum protection against UV.
What are the crucial factors you need to consider when buying sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays? We know some people focus more on the fashion aspect of sunglasses, but we have to remember that good-quality sunglasses are essential for effective UV protection.
Tips When Shopping For UV Protection Sunglasses
Let’s look at the seven most crucial factors to consider when shopping for your next UV protection sunglasses.
1.Go For 100% UV Sunglasses
When buying sunglasses to protect your eyes, you must look for 100% protection against UV rays. Go for sunglasses that are indicated to have 100% protection against ultraviolet rays, offering a protection absorption level of up to 400 nm.
Sunglasses usually have stickers or tags that show the level of protection offered by the sunglasses. Unfortunately, most people don’t bother checking whether the lenses used provide 100% protection against UV rays. You can always get more clarification about the UV protection levels of your preferred sunglasses from the salesperson.
2. How Much Light Is Being Blocked?
When buying sunglasses, make sure the ones you’re purchasing can block enough sunlight. A reliable pair of sunglasses should be able to screen out 75% to 90% of visible light. To determine the amount of light blocked by the sunglasses, you should wear the sunglasses in front of a mirror. If you can clearly see your eyes, then the sunglasses are blocking a low percentage of direct light, and hence won’t be efficient for UV protection.
3. Go for the Bigger Sunglasses
Just like hats, sunglasses need to be bigger to cover most of your eyes. The more your eyes are covered, the fewer sun rays can reach and damage them. The wrap-around sunglasses are the best. These sunglasses wrap-around your temple, offering protection on both sides. The second option would be an oversized option. These two types of sunglasses minimize the amount of sun rays reaching and entering your eyes. One crucial factor to consider when opting for more enormous sunglasses is getting the best fit. Your choice should fit you perfectly and comfortably since you will have them on for an extended period. Always refer to the sunglasses size guide to know which one will work for you.
4. The Lenses
The quality and tint of the lenses play an essential role against UV protection. Avoid the darker tint choices; instead, go for the uniform tints. The darker lenses don’t necessarily block more UV rays, even though you might consider them cool.
How do you check for any imperfections present in the lenses? Hold the sunglasses over a straight line at arm’s length. At a distance, look through the glasses’ lenses and look for imperfections. Move the glasses slowly on the line. If the straight line sways, moves, curves, or distorts, then the lenses are imperfect.
5. The Color of the Lenses
There are many colors used in sunglass lenses. Some of the most common colors include brown, grey, and green. Technically, the color of lenses doesn’t affect the level of UV protection offered by the sunglasses. However, the color will definitely affect your visibility by determining the visual contrast. Some colors can immensely increase the visual contrast which is helpful to athletes, especially basketball and golf players. Depending on where you’ll be wearing your sunglasses, go for a color that helps your visual contrast.
6. Special Features
Different manufacturers add special features when making their sunglasses. Why go for just the essential UV protection capabilities when you can enjoy more unique features on your sunglasses? Some of the standard extra features are lens coatings and superior filters.
The additional features are meant to offer better visibility as you enjoy maximum UV protection. Not everyone wants special features. Therefore, it’s advisable to go for the special features which best meet your needs. The unique features come like “extras” when shopping for your preferred sunglasses.
Examples of special features include:
- Mirror Coatings: These are thin layers of coatings that minimize the sun’s rays entering the eyes. When combined with the wrap-around features, they offer UV protection on your skin too. Mirror coatings are very efficient under high glare environments.
- Photochromic Lenses: The lenses can lighten and darken depending on light conditions. They become darker in high glare situations and lighter in a low glare environment.
- Impact-resistant: Glass, plastic, and polycarbonate lenses all have different impact resistance. Glass lenses shatter immediately on any impact, compared to the plastic ones. Polycarbonate lenses are more popular with sports sunglasses because they have a higher impact resistance. When opting for polycarbonate lenses, go for the ones that are scratch-resistant.
- Gradient Tint: These lenses reduce the sun’s glare. They’re the best lenses for driving. For sports sunglasses, the best option would be double gradient lenses, as they reflect the light.
- Polarized Filter: They reduce the sun’s reflected glare, which occurs when the sun rays hit a reflective surface like water. Polarization isn’t related to UV protection.
7. The Cost
Shy away from the myth that the most expensive sunglasses offer the best UV protection. You might be shocked to find more affordable sunglasses to be more efficient than the more expensive ones.
Wrapping it Up
Even though sunglasses enhance our fashion while offering UV protection, it’s best to shy away from focusing 100% on the fashion aspect. There are different sunglasses in the market offering UV protection and additional special features. While we know that looks and style are crucial, go for sunglasses that will meet your needs.