How to pick sunglasses that suit you and your needs, Part 1 : Function

Almost everywhere you look you’re bound to find someone wearing a pair of sunglasses. Oftentimes people wear them to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare, which is what sunnies were originally created for. Still, sometimes people just really wear them to look cool and that’s okay too. Celebrities even wear them to protect themselves from the endless flashing of paparazzi cameras and as a means of keeping themselves anonymous when they go out in public.

Sunglasses are a truly genius invention, filling both practical and fashionable functions. However, if you’re apprehensive about picking out your perfect pair, here are some tips for finding suitable sunglasses depending on your needs.

Function
If you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses that emphasize functionality, offering maximum protection against the sun’s rays and preventing the development of cataracts in the future, then you’ll want to take a closer look at this section.

The first thing you need to know is why you should make sure that your eyes are well-protected from the sun. You see, the sun’s glare is more than just an annoying part of life. The free radical damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays builds up over time and lead to cataracts, which is where your eye’s natural clear lens becomes cloudy. Another concern is macular degeneration, a condition that progresses from excess unfiltered sunlight entering the retinal tissue. Unfortunately, once these areas of the eye are affected, the damage can become irreparable and may only be fixed through surgery, which is why it’s important to work on preventing cataracts and macular degeneration early on.

That said, the best way to protect your eyes are by wearing sunglasses with ultraviolet ray (UV) protection. Many brands of sunglasses (and prescription glasses) come with UV-blocking coating. Typically, pairs that are tagged with CE or BS EN 1836:2005 are good to use for protection against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.

Protection from the brightness of the sun is important too. Going out into the sun after being in a darker environment can feel uncomfortable which is why people wear tinted glasses. According to some experts, gray is the best color for sunglasses as it can absorb light equally. Keep in mind, however, that there are certain lens tints that work better than others for those who are color blind but this can be determined with the help of an eye doctor.

There are also differing opinions on the benefits of blue blocking sunglasses. For the camp that recommends it, they believe that these amber-colored lenses can absorb ultraviolet and the blues in the color range, which leads to sharper vision. However, some studies also show that the UV blocking abilities of these blue blockers aren’t as good as they’re supposed to be.

You may also consider buying polarised sunglasses which are great against reflective light like sunlight hitting the road, water or snow.
Finally, choosing between glass or plastic lenses boils down to how you plan on using your sunglasses. Glass lenses are naturally better at protecting the eyes from UV rays. However you can. Treat a plastic lens with a UV coating to add that protection. You can treat both glass and plastic to turn then into photochromic lenses (also called transition lenses) which change color and become like a sunglass when exposed to UV light. Glass tends to be quite heavy and may irritate the wearer after long periods of use. On the other hand, plastic sunglasses are relatively cheaper and lighter.

This is just one part of the sunglasses choosing experience. Stay tuned for part 2 which will focus on sunglasses as a fashion statement.
For more information on the importance of sunglasses and how to pick the best pair for your needs, you can consult Dr. Hetel Bhakta at Planet Vision EyeCare, located in Greenacres, Florida. Planet Vision EyeCare are is also convenient to residents from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Wellington.