Sunglasses as a fashion statement
Jackie O, aviator cool, geeky hipster... Sunglasses can tell a lot about your style.
But you and I both know they are a little more than just a fashion statement. They are really on your face to protect your baby blues or big browns from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Fashion is just the by-product.
So, let’s clear this up. Here’s why you need to wear sunglasses for your eye health and not just for the cool factor…
Most of us should wear sunglasses outside all the time. Why? Because you protect your skin from the sun, and you should do the same with your eyes. Your eyes are just as susceptible to damage from UV rays. Prolonged exposure can put you at a much higher risk of developing a range of eye problems, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Plus, squinting on a sunny day causes wrinkles!
There are three options when choosing your next pair of sunnies: polarized lenses, tinted shades and transition glasses. Let’s break them down…
Polarised lenses are great in bright sunlight as they have a filter that reduces the amount of reflected light that enters the eye. Particularly great when around snow, water, concrete and asphalt surfaces, polarised filters eliminate the horizontally reflected glare associated with these overly bright environments. As opposed to normal sunglass lenses which cut the intensity of everything evenly. Especially great if you are the outdoorsy type such as fishermen, skiers and boaters.
A reduction in eyestrain, improvement in visual comfort and clarity, and a lessening in reflection and glare are just a few of the advantages of polarised lenses.
Sounds pretty great, right? Well, there is a disadvantage for a few people… Polarised lenses aren’t great for those who need to see LCD screens clearly. Lenses can make an LCD screen difficult to read and can even make it seem to disappear completely at certain angles. Not great if you are a pilot or an operator of heavy equipment!
So if polarised lenses aren’t for you, maybe tinted sunglasses are. These are essentially non-polarised lenses which have a dark tint or shade which reduces the strength of light. Generally less expensive than polarised glasses, they can be tinted with a number of different colors and darkness and don’t take into account the direction in which light is coming.
The third class of sunglasses feature transition lenses. These are a brand of lens which adjusts tint levels when you change environments (also known as photochromic lenses). The purpose of Transitions is to provide UV protection to your eyes when you’re outdoors, and conversely act as standard glasses when you are inside.
How do they do this? Well, they use a type of material that reacts to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. When you head out into bright light, the lenses will adjust to a darker tint, which act as sunglasses. When you go back indoors, the lenses will clear again. Magic! Well, not quite magic, but a great solution for people who need to wear glasses most of the time as there’s no need to carry around two pair of glasses – one for outside, and one for inside!
Another advantage is that these lenses provide UV protection at all times and the quality of your vision will essentially improve as it takes a while for eyes to adjust to a change in lighting direction, and these lenses allow your eyes to adjust in a natural way.
At Outlook Eye Centre in Toowoomba, we are able to fit prescription lenses to most frames. And with our super range of sunglasses – from Dolce & Gabbana to Ray Ban – there is no excuse to be anything other than what you want to be … geek, hipster or uniquely just you.