Tips for Finding the Right Sunglasses

While you’d be hard pressed to find someone not wearing sunglasses on a sunny day at the beach, their history isn’t very old. Inexpensive, mass produced sunglasses were first offered in 1929, when Sam Fosterbegan selling them in New Jersey. A decade later, 20 million had been sold in the United States, although most wore them as a fashion statement.

Looking stylish may be a reason for choosing protective eyewear, but there is a much more important one: eye health. Just as the sun can damage skin, it also harms the lens of the eyes. The more exposure your eyes receive, the higher the chance of developing cataracts and possibly macular degeneration. While the former can be removed surgically, the latter is a permanent problem that eventually leads to blindness. Cosmetically speaking, sunglasses can also help slow down the formation of wrinkles such as crow’s feet.

When looking for sunglasses, experts suggest choosing those that reflect or filter out 99 percent of UVB and 95 percent of UVA rays.The darkness of the lens is not a good indicator of protection. In fact, a darker lens can be more harmful than no glasses at all because they force the eye to dilate, thus allowing in more unfiltered radiation.

Price is not an adequate predictor, either. For the best protection, lenses should fit closely to the face with little light reaching your eyes from any direction. If you want to minimize color distortion, choose red, gray, green or brown lenses. Yellow is considered the best for defining objects, and work especially well for skiers, hunters and pilots. Blue and purple are simply used for looks.

The manufacturer will usually label the sunglasses so you know what protection they offer. If you are unsure, an optometrist can check them for you. Also, remember that no standard sunglasses are powerful enough to protect your eyes from looking directly at the sun.

Of course, you want to look good in your eyewear. Once you’ve determined which ones offer the best protection, you’ll need to choose a style. There are mirror shades, which have a mirror coating on the surface; aviators, which are the teardrop-shaped lens favored by pilots and military; wayfarers, the ones made popular in the 1950s by movie stars like Audrey Hepburn; and oversized frames, which are popular among female celebrities.

Whatever style you decide, be sure that you are getting the protection you need to keep your eyes healthy while you’re outdoors. To find out more about stylish shades in El Cajon, please visit this website.

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