Sunglasses are not just to make you look cool!
No, they serve the important function of protecting the health and wellbeing of your eyes.
Sunglasses keep you safe while driving, sailing, fishing or just out for a stroll.
They help you to avoid that car coming at you from the sun, to see that big fish you are trying to land, and to let you enjoy the great outdoors during that stroll.
And, yes, they can even make you look cool!
But they are much more than that!
Optometrists know that exposing your eyes to direct sunlight can cause a lot of damage to your eyes.
Did you know that you can sunburn your eyes?
That prolonged exposure to harsh uv radiation can lead to cataracts?
That serious eye diseases like macular degeneration, photokeratitis, photoconjunctivitis, pterygium and pingueculae.
In fact, it can cause cancer of the conjunctiva and skin cancers around your eyes.
The characteristics of a good pair of sunglasses:
A good pair of sunglasses will eliminate most of the ultraviolet and infrared light.
This is how they protect your eyes from injury or damage to your eyes.
In addition, the lenses will be distortion free and transmit color with little or no alteration making everything look exactly the same as if you had no sunglasses on at all.
Another trait of a good pair of sunglasses is that they not only will fit comfortably on your head, but they will also be durable.
How do I know if a pair of sunglasses are good?
The first thing you need to know is what is the VLT of the sunglass lenses.
A good pair of sunglasses will have a VLT of approximately 16%. This is what the VLT of military sunglasses like AO Eyewear, Randolph Engineering, Serengeti and Ray-Ban sunglasses typically provide.
A VLT of 16% means that only 84% of the visible light is allowed to pass through the sunglasses lens.
The second thing is to check the tint of the sunglass lenses. The best tint for normal conditions is Grey, but Tan lenses work better in fog, haze and snow. This is because Tan lenses will increase contrast making objects easier to see.
In addition the frame should be constructed of a good material like acetate or nickel silver eyewear. However, acetate left in strong sunlight for prolonged periods may warp or bend, while nickel silver frames can become very hot when left in strong sunlight burning your skin.
Either frame material is strong and durable, and these types of sunglasses usually last for many years.
In fact, I have many Customers from 20+ years ago that come back to me and simply want to replace the lenses or temples because the frames are still beautiful, functional and comfortable.
Are Good Sunglasses Expensive?
It all depends.
A good pair of sunglasses will usually cost around a couple of hundred dollars.
Polarized sunglasses are more expensive, but usually only necessary if you spend a lot of time around water or snow.
Cheap sunglasses usually do not perform well, are easily damaged and need to be replaced frequently. A good pair of sunglasses can last 20 years or more.
The choice is yours.
In the meantime keep your eyes safe Hersch!
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