Here’s a fact- over $2.5 million was spent in USA alone to purchase 270 million sunglasses. You might be a traffic cop, a student, a banker, or a biker, but those cool shades have become a part of you. Often times, sunglasses are bought because they look ‘cool’. With brands like Bausch & Lomb, Vuarnet, Oakley, Killy, Hobie, Serengeti and many more, offering sunglasses in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs… who can blame you? The trend has caught on and it looks like it is here to stay.
In all seriousness, sunglasses should be bought with the aim of protecting your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. When sunlight that is reflected of snow or sand hits your eyes you could get a case of ‘snow blindness’. In worse case scenarios, ultraviolet radiation can cause permanent retina damage and cataracts. UV rays can affect you even when you are not standing in broad daylight. These rays can come through even on a cloudy day. People who have a history of cataracts and retinal dystrophies should be extra careful to use suitable sunglasses.
Different people buy different sunglasses depending on their occupation, style, gender and general fancy. For example, people involved in high-impact sports may opt for the Polycarbonate lens, which does not shatter easily. Polarized sunglasses are chosen for those who love water sports because it takes care of the glare factor. Mirrored glasses are also a hot favorite for people skiing the slopes or swimming.
If you need to buy a pair, don’t judge the sunglasses by its price. An expensive pair may not protect your eyes but will only give you a glamorous look. When buying sunglasses it is wise to make sure that they have a UV coating. Also note if the brand tells you to what extent it blocks UV rays. Ideally UV rays should be blocked 99% to 100%. Mirror coated sunglasses look very trendy, however, not all mirror-coated glasses block harmful UV rays. Gradient tints also look fashionable and come in two varieties- single gradient and double gradient. Each is used for a different purpose but does not protect you from UV rays unless it has a UV coating.
Today’s market offers wrap around sunglasses, which allow complete protection for your eyes especially from wind and debris. Photochromic sunglasses adjust the darkness and lightness depending on the light outside, but could take about thirty seconds to adjust accordingly.
You can choose from a wide selection of sunglasses that come in different colors. Years ago, black was considered the standard and it is still very popular. With designer sunglasses sporting the stands, you now have reds, greens, blues, yellows and several other shades. The sunglasses you choose could be dependant on your social circle and personal preference. Some people believe dark black sunglasses will protect your eyes. It will not unless it has a UV coating, which happens to be colorless. If you already wear glasses you could get your doctor to prescribe prescription sunglasses or you could opt for photochromic glasses.