Sunglasses are stylish, cool and sexy. They are also key to protecting the eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. The top eye specialists at Austin Eye explain what to look for when choosing new sunglasses.
Always purchase sunglasses offering 100 percent UVA and UVB ray protection. Exposure to UV rays contributes to cataract development, macular degeneration and other eye diseases.
If your UV sunglasses become scratched, replace them. Scratches expose the eyes to harmful UV rays.
Polarized lenses do not protect eyes from UV rays, but they do reduce glare. That’s especially important while driving, when out on the water and when around other reflective surfaces. These lenses can prevent squinting.
Photochromatic lenses automatically change color according to light conditions. When it is sunny, the lenses darken. Head indoors, and the lenses lighten.
Larger lenses and frames offer more protection. Oversized glasses can limit the amount of UV rays entering the eyes from the sides. You want eye protection from every angle.
Many people believe very dark lenses are more effective at blocking UV rays, but that is not necessarily the case. Lenses in other colors such as green, gray or amber have the advantage of providing better contrast.
Amber lenses are best when working in low light, as they aid in depth perception. These lenses enhance contrast, making them a good choice for people with macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. Gray lenses do not distort colors and therefore are especially suitable for driving.
Eye color plays a role. Those with lighter eyes tend to have a higher light sensitivity. For these people, gray lenses can block out additional light.
Higher-priced sunglasses tend to have several lens coatings. This may include anti-scratch coating — a wise investment for anyone — as well as water repellent hydrophobic coating or anti-fog coating.
Make sure the sunglasses fit your face correctly. Look for a close fit, especially with wraparound sunglasses. Take note of the following:
- Snug frame fit on the nose and ears, but no discomfort.
- Even weight distribution between the nose and ears.
- No eyelashes touching the frame.
Finding quality sunglasses does not mean spending a lot of money. Just make sure the sunglasses fit all the necessary criteria. If you are in need of an eye examination and recommendations on sunglasses, contact the dedicated eye care specialists at Austin Eye by calling our office at (512) 250-2020 to schedule a consultation. We can help you choose the best sunglasses for your vision needs.