How to Choose Sunglasses
By Yury Herasimovich Submitted On May 01, 2011
Today the market is so full of sunglasses of different styles, prices and looks, that for some people it is too hard to choose the pair that will suit them best. However, it would be easier for you to find a really nice pair of sunglasses if you begin considering your possible choices right away, not after you have already gone shopping.
There are a few features in a must-have list of any sunglasses: style you love, good eye protection, and comfort.
First of all, you should pay attention to UV protection of the sunglasses you want. They must provide protection from ultraviolet radiation, which is a component of sunlight causing eye disease. There is a government agency controlling sunglass manufacture and sales in the country, called the FDA. It recommends the consumers to look for lens in sunglasses that are able to block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation. You will understand that’s what you are looking for if you see the label reading either UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
Talking about sunglasses lens materials, it should be noted that they differ quite a bit – some of them are heavier, but some are more durable. The most popular materials used for sunglass lens are the following:
1) Polycarbonate is a type of durable lightweight plastic.
2) Another type of plastic – CR-39 – is mostly used for prescription-grade lens.
3) Glass is very durable but heavy.
When choosing sunglasses, also pay attention to lens coating and tints: apart from UV filtering, there are more coatings that are applied to sunglass lens. For example, tints are the colors helping lens absorb light as it passes through them. It’s up to you what color to choose, but you should take into account some important benefits:
– gray lens will reduce brightness without distorting color.
– brown and amber colors will reduce all types of glare, even the one created by the blue frequency in sunlight making everything appear hazy, but they will cause more color distortion than gray lens do.
– yellow color will reduce the haze described above even better than browns, thus extremely sharpening up the view, but they will also distort colors more then the others.
– green color will help reduce glare and filter out some of the blue light, thus offering you good contrast between objects.
– rose lens are usually preferred by people going in for water sports or other outdoor activities, as rose color is able to provide you good contrast for objects seen against green or blue backgrounds.
You may also consider purchasing sunglasses with polarized lenses. They have polarizing films, which help reduce the glare from the light bouncing off of some objects like water, highways and so on. Again, it’s up to you.
It is also recommended that you watch for glasses featuring lens scratch resistance, which have a thin coating on lens too. Be aware that plastic lens will scratch more easily than glass ones. Mirrored lenses are also very popular today, and you have surely seen some with a mirror finish on the outside of the lens. However, such lens will scratch easily, as the mirror finish is applied last.
There are also sunglasses with photochromatic (photochromic) lens, which will automatically become darker if exposed to UV radiation. This shift occurs quickly with your surroundings changing from bright to dim. Finally, you can purchase sunglasses with anti-reflective coatings that are able to reduce the reflection caused by light hitting the back side of lens. This will keep the light from bouncing right into your eyes.
Then comes the material of sunglass frames. It can be plastic, base metals, titanium, aluminum and lots of other. You should just try on different frame types in order to compare their weight and choose which one feels the best.
Meanwhile, kids also need protection from UV radiation and glare. Therefore, you should take the same care when choosing them sunglasses. Don’t buy little play ones, but get them something that will protect their eyes.
When considering the level of eye protection, remember that sunglass lenses wrapping around to your temples will be able to keep out more light and UV radiation than usual ones. Moreover, it is known that less squinting means fewer wrinkles, so protecting your eyes right now is a great idea! Besides, you may wear a wide brimmed hat to protect your eyes and skin from the sun.
Finally, you should definitely choose sunglasses suiting your individual style. Although sunglass styles constantly change, just like every other fashion, their selections are so varied that you will always be able to find the one of your style. Besides, sunglasses may be both inexpensive and effective, so it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to be able to develop a nice collection. Even despite the fact that designer and specialty sunglasses normally cost more than ordinary ones, you’ll be able to find them for sale at affordable prices. Just watch the UV ratings carefully and that’s it.
If you don’t know what frame shape suits you best, just go shopping and try on as many of them as possible. It will be great if you can get permission to try them outside, because you will be able to see how they really work in the sunlight.
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