Sunglasses aren’t just an accessory to complete your outfit. They are a necessary part of your daily life because they protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Eye health is very important, and you should put as much importance on it as you do on other health issues. Using sunglasses to protect your eyes is just as important as going to your regularly scheduled eye exam or figuring out your lens prescription. Here’s why the money behind your sunglasses matters and why having quality sunglasses is so important:
What You Need From Your Sunglasses
Your sunglasses need to be able to adequately provide you with protection while also fitting well and looking aesthetically pleasing. Just as you should constantly be protecting your skin from UV rays, you should also constantly be protecting your eyes. UV rays burn and age your skin and can even cause cancer. Look for sunglasses that block both types of UV rays (UVA and UVB) in order to protect your eyes from sunburn and cancer.
Conditions like pterygium, cataracts, and macular degeneration can also all develop after your eyes are excessively exposed to UV rays. These conditions pose a threat to your eyesight and are not to be taken lightly. If you believe that you may be suffering from one of these conditions, schedule an eye exam with your ophthalmologist and start taking precautionary measures like wearing sunglasses immediately.
It’s very important to make sure that your sunglasses aren’t only fashionable, but also functional. Don’t be fooled, many sunglasses on the market do not protect your eyes at all. These types of sunglasses are strictly for fashion and should not be used as a shield against UV rays. If you don’t know if your sunglasses are living up to the protective standard, look for labels like “UV 400.” This means that the lens blocks UV rays as small as 400 nanometers. If you also want to block glare, find sunglasses that block 75-90% of visible light.
Types of Sunglasses
When it comes to quality sunglasses, there are various types of lenses available that serve different purposes. It’s important to know the different types of lenses and coatings so you can decide what’s best for you and your lifestyle in order to know what to look for when buying your sunglasses.
Prescription sunglasses are great if you are currently wearing glasses. Most sunglasses’ frames can be purchased and the lenses inside can have your prescription. With this, your sunglasses function as protection and vision correction at the same time. The days of having to wear sunglasses over your regular glasses or wear contacts when you need to wear sunglasses are gone.
Photochromic lenses are another alternative if you are currently wearing glasses. The added benefit of photochromic lenses is that these lenses lighten and darken depending on the light. This takes away the need to switch between your regular glasses and your prescription sunglasses because the two are now combined in one frame.
Standard sunglasses are non-polarized. Some companies also make polarized sunglasses. The only difference between the two is that polarized sunglasses have a film coating that reduces glare. This anti-glare technology is best for people surrounded by reflective surfaces like water and snow. They are also good for driving. Although most do, not all polarized lenses have UV protection. Don’t forget to make sure that the pair you’re considering does!
Lens coatings like mirrors, anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, and hydrophobic are also things to consider. Think about your daily life and what you need from your sunglasses. Paying extra for these coatings may save you money in the long run.
Why the Money Matters
Fit, material, and type all affect how much your sunglasses will cost. All of the types of lenses mentioned above cost more than a standard pair of sunglasses. Once you start adding in your prescription and lens coatings, your sunglasses will cost more than a less quality pair. The materials used in quality sunglasses also affect the price. A pair of sunglasses made from mixed metals or plastic may be cheaper. However, quality brands tend to use materials like stainless steel or titanium because they are stronger, hypoallergenic, and keep their shape longer.
Don’t forget that the fit is just as important as the functionality. Protecting your eyes is key, but you want to feel confident in your sunglasses. Since you should wear them year-round, you need to love the way that they look. Quality brands tend to have many different fits and colors to choose from. Talk with your optician about your needs, preferences, and what type of fit will look best for your face shape.
Remember that in the end, you get what you pay for. Sunglasses don’t need to be extremely expensive in order to give you protection. However, a quality pair of fairly-priced sunglasses is extremely important in maintaining your optimum eye health.
How We Can Help
At Medical Arts Eye Clinic & Optical, we have a wide array of quality sunglasses to choose from. We offer options for transition, prescription, polarized, and nonpolarized lenses. We carry designers like Costa, Coach, Ray-Ban, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, and Versace where you don’t have to worry about whether or not your sunglasses are protecting your eyes. Our professional staff is readily available to help you find sunglasses that look great on you that you’ll love to wear every day! Contact us today to look at all the sunglasses we have to offer.