Sunglasses are as much of a piece of protective equipment as they are an opportunity to make a fashion statement.
Because of their glamorous reputation, many consider sunglasses to be optional, but the longer you leave your eyes unprotected, the greater your risk for vision deficits and health problems later in life.
If you spend significant amounts of time outside, the harmful rays of the sun do ever increasing amounts of damage to your eyeballs the longer they are unshielded.
As such, as it is vital to protect your eyes whenever you head outdoors. When you go to do that, however, you may as well pick a pair of killer sunglasses while you are at it.
Below, we’ll run down the points you should consider if you want to be the proud owner of a new pair of sunglasses.
Why are sunglasses necessary?
You may not be aware why you even need sunglasses. If you have gotten almost halfway through your life with suffering any ill effects, we understand your skepticism.
That’s why ultraviolet radiation is such an insidious foe – the carnage it wreaks on your eyes is imperceptible from moment to moment, month to month, or even year to year.
However, years of mass exposure to UVA and UVB radiation causes damage that is hard to reverse, leading to a premature worsening in vision as you head into the 2nd half of your life.
In more serious cases, chronic exposure to UV radiation can lead to partial/total blindness or cancers of the eyeball – in the latter case, losing your sight is the best-case scenario.
Stop this slow-motion train wreck by wearing sunglasses that have lenses that filter out UVA/UVB rays. Any pair you buy should block at least 99% of UVBs and 95% of UVAs.
If you like to get out on the water or if you ski a lot, be sure you get polarized lenses, as these glasses are the most effective at filtering refracted light.
Also, never get glasses which are tagged as ‘cosmetic’. They look like the real deal, but they offer zero protection from the sun.
Which pair of glasses is best for me?
While wearing any pair of sunglasses that blocks UV rays is better than wearing none at all, you probably want to look cool in the process.
As such, certain kinds of glasses work better with different face shapes, and there are a variety of styles that will appeal to some over others.
Got a round face? Try to select a pair with square lenses. Conversely, those with square features should go with round lenses.
Play baseball? Wraparound glasses will keep the sun out of your eyes no matter where a fly ball is hit. Want to channel your inner Maverick? Aviators will do the job. Oversized lenses will suit those trying to put off a celebrity persona.
No matter what your tastes are, there are numerous pairs of sunglasses out there that will fit your needs.
What color should your lenses be?
While those looking to make a fashion statement are free to choose whatever color that speaks to them, those engaged in specific activities should put additional thought into what lenses they end up picking for their sunglasses.
For example, brown lenses make it easier to see when you are tearing down the slopes on your skis/board, golfers can see the ball better with copper-colored glasses, while avid tennis players should choose a green or blue pair.
If you just want to reduce sun glare without giving up visual sharpness, go for a pair of gray glasses.
The lenses should be scratch-resistant
Ever spend a fortune on a pair of designer shades, only to have them scratched days later when your cat unexpectedly swats them off the table?
Perhaps not. But if you’re going to invest in a good pair of sunglasses, it makes sense to buy some that resist scratching.
Look for this feature in its documentation before moving it to your cart, as you never know when they are going to slide off your head and onto the pavement. It happens all the time, so be prepared.