Nothing says summer like a great pair of shades. And they certainly have come a long way! Did you know that sunglasses date back to almost 2000 years ago? Around 60 AD, Roman Emperor Nero was said to have viewed gladiator fights through polished gems, which reduced eye strain and glare. Over the past several decades, sunglasses have evolved into a must-have accessory. And while we may choose that perfect pair to show our style, the most important job of those coveted sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The perfect sunglasses provide both fashion and function!
So how do you find the perfect pair? Function first! Look for sunglasses that block out 100% of both UVA (long wave) and UVB (short wave) radiation. Protecting your eyes from these harmful UV rays can help prevent sunburn, cataracts (often caused by extended UV exposure), as well as macular degeneration, blindness, and cancer of the eyelids. Look for labels that indicate 100% UV protection, or UV 400; both indicate protection from UVA and UVB rays.
If you have an active summer lifestyle that involves water sports or biking, then polarized lenses may be an option to consider. These lenses reduce or eliminate glare by filtering out reflections from the sun. Just be sure that they also offer complete UV protection.
Planning a summer road trip? You may wish to choose a pair of sunglasses with tinted lenses in gray, green or brown hues. These are excellent choices if you spend a lot time cruising the highway, as they tend to minimize color distortion.
When it comes to fashion, this year’s styles offer everything under the sun, from chic and colorful to traditional evergreen designs. Of course, there are many popular shapes that never go out of style. If your look is more dramatic, oversized “Jackie O” inspired sunnies don’t just scream glam, they also provide extra UV protection by blocking rays that may come in from the side. Aviators, especially those will flash mirror colored lenses, are right on trend and can be found in both metal and plastic designs. Plus, mirrored lenses reflect light away from the eyes, perfect if your eyes are light-sensitive. However, not all mirrored lenses offer UV protection, so look for a label that indicates this, or ask your eyecare professional.
Vintage-inspired wayfarers are another classic frame that looks great on just about any face. You can’t go wrong with basic black or popular tortoise colorations, but if you’re looking for a pop of color, lighten up your face with one of our translucent hues. Unsure of what style is right for you? Check out what types of sunglasses look best on your Face Shape.
There are more sunglasses shapes, colors, and styles available now than ever before! Try on several styles before you decide what’s best for you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. The perfect pair will do more than complement your style; they’ll go a long way in protecting your eyes!