5 Tips for Buying Sunglasses

While sunglasses can give you an aura of glamour or "casual cool", don't forget that the primary reason for wearing them is to protect your eyes from the sun. But you can still create the fashion image you want while preserving your vision and the entire area around your eyes. The American Optometric Association suggests you look for the following when shopping for shades:

UV protection. Sunglasses lenses should block out 99 percent to 100 percent of both UV-A (ultraviolet A) and UV-B (ultraviolet B) rays. UV rays can cause a variety of maladies including cataracts (clouding of the eye), benign growths on the surface of the eyes, photokeratitis ("sunburn" of the surface of the eyes), and cancer of the eyelids and the skin around the eyes. Wide-brimmed hats can block only about half of the UV radiation that hits the eyes. The rest of the protection needs to come from sunglasses.

Blue-light protection. The violet and blue portion of the solar spectrum may be a risk factor for macular degeneration (a deterioration of the central vision) in "sun sensitive" people.

Comfort. The hottest sunglass style out there won't do a thing for you if you still need to squint to see or if the bridge of your nose is pinched. Try on several pairs until you find the one that fits your face comfortably (an optician can adjust them if they're pretty good but not quite perfect).

Tint. You need to make sure the lenses you're considering are not so dark that colors are distorted but are dark enough to allow your eyes to adapt easily to indoor or nighttime activities. Spending time in the bright sun without sunglasses or with sunglasses that aren't dark enough can make it difficult to see well later in the day or evening—which could be hazardous if you're driving home after a long day at the beach, for example.

Optometrists recommend that you wear sunglasses any time you're outdoors, whether you're driving, working, exercising, walking, or simply running errands, in order to block out damaging UV rays. Fortunately, with all the styles out there, it shouldn't be too hard to find the pair that makes you look great and keeps you seeing well!


Source: www.aoa.org