Throwing Shade: Choosing the Right Sunglasses

Throwing Shade: Choosing the Right Sunglasses

Summer is officially here and whether you’re spending the day at the beach or going for a walk in the city, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays are invisible to the human eye, but can be seen in the form of sun tans or burns. Just as the sun can damage your skin, it can also have damaging effects on the eyes.

Sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from UV rays, not just during the summer months, but all year-long. While some pairs are trendy and stylish, not all sunglasses are created equal. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the right pair of shades:
 
  1. UV protection is important: When shopping for sunglasses, it’s important to make sure they provide at least 99% UV protection.  This will ensure your eyes are getting the most coverage from the sun.
  2. Lens color makes a difference: The lens color affects how much visible light reaches your eyes, how well you see other colors and how well you see contrasts. Darker colored lenses such as gray or brown cause less color distortion.
  3. Consider why you need them:  When looking for sunglasses, consider how you will be wearing them.  For example, a skier might prefer tinted goggles which increase contrast in hazy or low-light conditions. Polarized lenses are also great options. They provide glare-free vision, enhanced contrast and color perception and also reduce eye fatigue.
  4. Glasses to sunglasses:  Transition lenses are a great option for patients who wear glasses throughout the whole day and don’t want to switch pairs when going outside.  The lenses will darken when you go outside and are capable of blocking up to 100% of UV rays. 
  5. Purchase from an expert: The best shades are those purchased from an optometrist or optician. This ensures the sunglasses have the appropriate amount of UV protection and are best suited for your needs.
The Eye Institute’s (TEI) expert opticians can help you find the perfect pair of shades. For more information, visit the Optical Center