In the shade - Choosing Perfect Sunglasses
Direct sunshine may cause eye-strain and headaches, which is why we recommend using sunglasses in the sun. Some key rules apply when choosing a pair of sunglasses, the most important one being that the lenses must filter the UV light – UVA and UVB. Sunglasses with no UV protection can actually cause damage to our eyes by forcing the pupils to open wider and allowing more harmful UV rays in. For those unfamiliar with the light spectrum, ultraviolet light exists beyond our vision, with similar properties to the colour we perceive as violet. It is especially prevalent in sunlight and causes various chemical reactions in humans, including the formation of vitamin D and changes in skin pigmentation — the process of tanning. While the UV radiation might be good for your complexion, it is potentially very harmful to the eyes whose delicacy makes them sensitive to these wavelengths. The corneas, lenses and retinas are especially susceptible to UV damage, with possible consequences of over-exposure including macula degeneration and cataracts. This is particularly crucial for children, whose eyes are still developing.
Our independent opticians will offer you the right advice when it comes to choosing the perfect sunglasses, which will give you the confidence that they offer full protection, and are suitable for your needs.
Sunglass lenses come in many different colours, so you can choose the one that offers you the best and most comfortable vision. They can be made to your prescription if needed. Besides the colour, another key type of lens includes the polarising variety, which don't just protect against the sun's rays — they also reduce reflective glare, such as sunlight on water or snowy ground. While the relatively new phenomenon of photochromic lenses adjust their tint automatically depending on ambient light levels. Consequently they only become conventional sunglasses when it's necessary, and there is a lot of sunlight around. Scratch resistant coatings and shatter-proof lenses are other beneficial features that can help to preserve your sunglasses, which typically lead a harder life than spectacles. Polycarbonate lenses are very light and impact-resistant, making them ideal for wearing during outdoor sporting activities.
Finally, choosing a suitable shape for your sunglasses frames is almost as important as the quality of the lenses. Small shades perched on your nose will provide very little protection — instead, look for wide or wraparound designs that completely block out direct light and prevent peripheral glare. Our staff will advise you on suitable frames, you have a choice of full rimmed, aviator or light weight to ensure the best fit and vision for you.
Author: Raluca Lazar