Picking a good pair of sunglasses

Summer is in full swing and there’s one thing for sure — the sun’s rays do a lot of damage to your eyes. Well, you can provide protection as well as make a statement with a stylish frame by considering a few pointers on how to pick the right pair of sunglasses.

First, though, a bit about why you should always wear sunglasses.

Just as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin, they can also harm the lens and cornea of your eye. Long term (as in years — the sun’s damage is cumulative) exposure to UV radiation increases your odds of getting cataracts and has been linked to macular degeneration, a degenerative (though treatable) disease of the macula that is essential for sharp vision.

And while you mainly think of sunlight as it travels from the sun, through the air and into your eyes, just as important to guard against is sunlight that bounces off of highly-reflective surfaces such as water, sand and pavement.

Sunglasses play a pivotal role in shielding the eye’s fragile tissue from UV radiation. Like sunscreen, sunglasses should be worn whenever you’re outdoors, year round.

Look for sunglasses with complete UVA/UVB protection
Choose sunglasses that provide full protection from UV light. Ask one of our opticians or make sure that the sunglasses clearly state one or more of the following:

  • Lenses block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays
  • Lenses meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements
  • Lenses feature UV 400 protection

Choosing the right hue
The coating that blocks UV protection is clear, so a darker lens doesn’t always indicate better protection than a lighter one. Hue does play an important role, however, in color perception. Gray, green or brown lenses minimize color distortion, while lenses that are yellow or rose in color may make it difficult to detect changes in traffic light colors.

Polarized lenses for added clarity
While polarized lenses have nothing to do with UB protection, lenses with this feature can reduce glare by filtering out the reflected sunlight that bounces off of surfaces like pavement and water. The downside is these lenses can make it hard to read your cell phone, GPS device or liquid crystal displays like on dashboards and ATM machines.

Quality is key
You’ll notice that we only carry brand-name sunglasses at Spex Expressions. While you may experience some protection with discount brands, consistency is a concern with lower-priced glasses. Your best bet is to buy a trusted brand from a certified eye care practice, like Spex Expressions.

If you have any other questions about sunglasses, be sure to give the eye health experts at Spex Expressions a call at (815) 758-1039 or visit us at www.SpexExpressions.com. Our trained opticians would be happy to answer any of your questions.

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