Apart from being a fashion statement, sunglasses also help in maintaining your eye health. They offer protection by cutting down the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and the hot glare. UV rays can lead to short and long-term eye damage.
It’s nice to pick the sunglasses based on the following criteria for better eye health:
Go for sunglasses which are labelled to block 100% of UVA and UVB. Some sunglasses can have labels stating “UV absorption up to 400nm” which is the same as “100% UV absorption.”
Bigger the better
The bigger the lens, more they will shield you from the damage due to sun rays. While buying sunglasses, go for wraparounds or oversized glasses which prevent UV rays from entering from the sides.
Keep in mind the colour and darkness of the sunglasses have nothing to do with their ability to block UV rays. Therefore, go for UV rating only when you buy sunglasses with coloured lenses. If you suffer from diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, opt for grey or amber lenses for better recognition of colour contrast. These lenses help in blocking the high-energy blue visible wavelength as well.
Quality of the lenses
Check the lenses for their evenness of colour distribution. Hold them against light and see that their colour matches perfectly and they are distortion-free.
Price doesn’t matter
You don’t have to go only for expensive sunglasses for eye protection. Even inexpensive glasses which block 100% of UV are as effective as the expensive ones.
Additional features to look for
You can also look out for these supplemental features
They prove beneficial in cutting down glare especially while driving. They are helpful for people who have undergone a refractive eye surgery. Polarised lenses can benefit driving and other outdoor activities, but may not offer better sun protection. Hence you need to make sure; these lenses provide UV protection as well.
Such lenses automatically turn dark in bright light and lighten in the low light. Photochromatic lenses can take a while (few minutes) to adjust to the various light conditions. Yes, these lenses also must be UV blocking certified too.
Plastic lenses, especially the polycarbonate ones are less likely to shatter than the glass ones. However, the plastic lenses are prone to scratches so one can opt for lenses with scratch-resistant coatings.
A simple measure such as wearing ultraviolet protective sunglasses, irrespective of the season or activity can help in maintaining healthy vision.
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- How to Choose the Best Sunglasses. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/top-sunglasses-tips. Accessed 17 Aug. 16.
- Tuchinda C, Srivannaboon S, Lim HW. Photoprotection by window glass, automobile glass, and sunglasses. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2006;54: 845.
- Choosing Sunglasses. The Vision Council. https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/choosing-sunglasses/adults.
- How to Choose the Right Sunglasses. Bright Focus Foundation. http://www.brightfocus.org/macular/article/how-choose-right-sunglasses.
- A Guide to Sunglasses. Glaucoma Research Foundation. http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/a-guide-to-sunglasses.php.
- Images Source: Parineeti Chopra Facebook page