Buying Sunglasses for Style and Function
We tend to put style before function when it comes to buying sunglasses, but let’s be real – the point of wearing sunglasses should not just be for a summer look; your priority should be protecting your eyes from excess or direct sunlight. Check out these tips to combine function and style if you’re buying new shades.
Blocks 99% or 100% of all UV light
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, or AAO, the most essential feature to look for when buying sunglasses is whether your choice protects you from UV light. Look for a label or description that guarantees the lenses block 99% or 100% of all UV light. Sometimes, the lens protection will be labeled as UV absorption up to 400nm, which means those sunglasses give you the same blocking protection at 99-100%.
While it may seem that a polarized lens gives you more protection from the sun, it doesn’t. The AAO explains what polarized lenses do is help with reflective glare. You’re wasting your money if you buy a polarized lens without total UV protection. But if the lens combines UV protection and polarization, you have a great pair of glasses.
According to experts, the color and darkness of lenses don’t block UV light more or less. Again, you must ensure UV protection before anything else, then think about the so-called add-ons. If you find a pair of sunglasses with total UV protection and want a darker lens, the AAO recommends medium darkness for day-to-day.
If you come across a pair of mirrored sunglasses and try them on, they do block the amount of light coming into your eye. But don’t be fooled. The mirror finish alone won’t offer UV protection. You need that UV protection label as well.
Your choice of lens color does make a difference. Here are some lens color qualities:
- Brown/amber lenses are helpful when you need to see objects in the distance, which makes them recommended for fishing, hunting, water sports and golf.
- Gray lenses are good for driving or fishing. According to eye experts, gray cuts glare provides good contrast and can be worn on sunny or cloudy days.
- Green lenses are an excellent choice for playing sports outdoors this summer. The green helps filter out some of the blues and cuts out some glare.
- Blue lenses enhance the vibrancy of color, filter white light, and help to see contour better. Experts suggest using blue lenses when you’re out on the water or during the winter when it’s snowy and icy. They’re also recommended for low-visibility scenarios like fog.
- Yellow/orange lenses are best for winter. They help with depth perception and boost light in darker conditions. They’re best used for snow spots.
Now that you have more information to see sunglasses clearly, you’ll know which products are keepers and which ones to throw shade at.