Sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory. They reduce the sun’s bright summer glare and protect our eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays. With so many makes and models to choose from, it can be tough to find the right pair. Here are 10 tips to help make your choice easier.
1. For everyday use and driving, choose grey, green or brown lenses. These colours soften the glare without distorting the colours you see. Lenses that turn darker in sunlight (photochromic lenses) are also good, and gradient lenses (dark at the top and light at the bottom) are useful for drivers who have trouble seeing their dashboard through solid lenses.
2. Amber and orange lenses sharpen vision by absorbing most of the blue and green in sunlight, but some people find they make it more difficult to see the colours of traffic signals.
3. Polaroid lenses are perfect for driving, water sports and snow sports because they cut through reflected light. Wearing them means you can see water or snow clearly even in bright sunlight.
4. UV rays can cause painful sunburn of the eyes and have been linked to the development of cataracts, so buy sunglasses with stickers or tags that say “UV protection.” This protection is especially important for people taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs that increase sensitivity to sunlight. Your doctor, optometrist or pharmacist can tell you which medications to look out for.
5. Avoid sunglasses if reflections on the lenses look distorted. Chances are they were not ground or molded properly and could cause you headaches.
6. Sunglass frames should have smooth surfaces and its hinges should be sturdy. You should see no gaps between the lenses and frames.
7. Choose sunglasses according to your face shape.
- Heart-shaped face – a frame with a heavy lower edge adds width to the bottom of the face
- Square face – an oval or round shape softens the jaw line
- Oval face – almost any frame looks good
- Round face – square or angular frames offset the roundness
8. Sunglasses should sit close to your eyes to block light from all sides. Adjust nose pads (if any) so the frames don’t pinch or slide down your nose. Lenses without nose pads should follow the shape of the bridge of your nose.
9. Kids need sunglasses too! Don’t forget to pick up a good pair of shades for them when you’re shopping.
10. If you need sunglasses while playing sports, ask an eye care professional how you can get your protective sports eye wear made into sunglasses.