Sunglasses are far more than just a fashion statement. They are an important form of protection for your eyes and can also be a safety aid when you are driving, skiing or otherwise engaged in sport. It is not a good idea to cut corners on your sunglasses. The cheap ones that you find in souvenir stores are not suitable for use in bright environments and they could seriously harm your eyesight.
What Makes a Good Pair of Sunglasses?
A good pair of sunglasses will protect you from not just the dazzling effect of bright light, but also the UV A and UV B radiation, which can damage your retina. They will help to fight eyestrain and also combat headaches caused by squinting and struggling to see when there is so much glare. The style and fit of the sunglasses you buy can vary depending on what you plan to use them for, but no matter whether you are sunbathing, driving, playing golf or skiing it is important that you buy sunglasses that offer good UV protection.
There are several different styles of sunglasses to choose from, including casual, glacier and sport designs. Casual sunglasses are designed primarily with fashion in mind. The frames are light and the lenses protect the eyes from sunlight that hits head-on, but the frames do not tend to wrap all the way around the head.
Casual sunglasses are good for protecting your eyes while you are driving, shopping or generally on relaxing on holiday but they are not really suitable for any more intense sporting activity.
If you plan on using the sunglasses to drive, you may want to get reactive lenses. These will get darker or lighter depending on the environment you are in. Make sure that they react quickly, however, because these lenses could be dangerous if you went from a bright environment to a dark one and the lenses took too long to respond. You need to make sure that your vision is never obscured.
Sport sunglasses have more hard wearing frames and often have polarized lenses that are designed to improve clarity for the specific sport that you are playing. For example, you can get lenses that are intended for golf players and that are designed to make it easier to see the bright white of a golf ball against the grass or against the sand. You can also get interchangeablke lenses for different environments. Sports sunglasses often feature special nose grips and frames to help ensure that they stay in place during your chosen sporting activity.
There is a phenomenon known as snowblindness which describes the damage that the sun being reflected off the sun can do to your eyes. This is a common problem for skiers and even if you do not suffer from it you can still experience other problems because of the sun. Even being temporarily dazzled while you are on the slopes can be very dangerous. Glacier sunglasses usually have wrap around frames that block out sunlight from entering your eyes from the sides as well as the front. This ensures that you are never dazzled at an inopportune moment. There are also full-face covering goggles that have tints, which can be used for skiing and similar sports.
Some sunglasses have mirrored coatings which can help to reduce glare and also help to make the lenses more durable. These coatings are common on high-end lenses, and make the lenses last a lot longer. However, they are not without problems. Mirrored coatings can be problematic because they make the objects you are looking at seem darker than they actually are. This means that they often need to use lighter tints in order to ensure optimal visibility. If you are going to use mirrored coatings then you should think carefully about whether the tint will be sufficient to protect your eyes, and whether you will be able to see well in cloudy conditions or if you end up going indoors or through tunnels for a time. Reactive lenses are often better than mirrored lenses because of the extra versatility that they offer you.