Everyone is at risk for ultraviolet damage from the sun, especially when you get as many days of sunlight as we do living in Colorado. Damage from UV radiation and over-exposure to the sun can lead to many eye problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, or melanoma. Wearing sunglasses with maximum UV protection can protect your eyes and preserve your eye health. Aside from reducing the health risks from sunrays, sunglasses also offer these benefits: protection from wind, dust and dryness, contrast enhancement, and improvement of overall visual function, and reduction of eye fatigue from glare.
Most people who wear prescription eyewear easily understand their need for it – their vision is impaired without correction. Don’t think of prescription sun wear as just a darkly tinted version of your clear prescription glasses; think of it as eyeglasses specially designed for your active lifestyle. With this definition, colored or multi-colored mirror coatings, anti-reflective coating, ultraviolet protection, polarized lenses, impact resistance, frame durability, and a host of other options become a spectrum of unique features to add to your prescription sun wear. These days, almost any prescription and any combination of features can be made to suit your tastes and needs.
Why not have sunglasses that help boost your performance in activities that your enjoy? And, of course, you have to look good too. Today’s sun wear runs the fashion gamut from retro-looking to the trendy large, chunky plastic frames. The wide variety of lightweight frame materials, such as magnesium, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, carbon fiber, nylon composites, and injected alloy can improve performance and provide durability and comfort. Style features such as non-slip bridges, gripper temples, spring hinges, shields, wraps, and venting systems add value and comfort and pump up your performance at the same time. While the newer, innovative frame materials and high-tech finishes make them look appealing; it’s the lenses that really complete the eyewear’s allure. Whether it’s new anti-reflective (AR) lenses or a mirror coating, the lenses provide function while catering to the fashion minded trend seekers.
Ultraviolet Protection: Sunglasses should offer 100% UV protection covering UVA and UVB rays up to 400nm. Features such as mirror coatings, anti-reflective coatings, and polarization are great and may increase comfort and visibility but offer no additional protection against UV rays.
AR lenses reduce reflections and improve contrast, visual acuity and comfort in all types of lighting conditions.
These lenses automatically darken or lighten depending upon light conditions to provide the right level of protection and comfort. These lenses are more commonly called Transitions® or Photogray.
Polarized Lenses: These lenses filter out reflected glare from surfaces such as water and windows. They improve contrast and visibility while reducing eyestrain and squinting, plus they help you see a sharper, more focused world. However, some polarized lenses can block the reflected light of LCD’s in many dashboards, bank automated tellers, and other electronic devices. So, if you use a PDA, laptop, or have an electronic dashboard, you may want to check that the lenses you choose will not block the LCD light as well.
Polycarbonate lenses are strong and impact-resistant, a perfect combination for those sports enthusiasts who play on the edge.
The color of the lens has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of protection sunglasses provide. It is the density of the lens material as well as the lens coatings that determine the amount of protection. For instance, clear sunglasses may offer better protection than many “dark” sunglasses off the rack. However, some lens colors allow for better visual performances than others. Below is a list of the various colors and the situations in which they provide the best performance.
Brown or Amber lenses enhance contrast with minimal alteration of natural colors. This lens tint is great for sports, fishing, driving, or any activity where contrast is important.
Grey lenses are generally the darkest lenses available. They do not enhance contrast, but they do not distort colors either. They are most suitable for people who are sensitive to glare.
Yellow and Orange lenses provide excellent depth perception and contrast in low light conditions. They are often used as shooting glasses and with night driving. These lenses are often too bright to be used in normal light conditions.
Green lenses are a good everyday tint. They are of medium darkness and have some contrast enhancing qualities, while not distorting colors.