We all know the importance of protecting our skin from harmful UV rays by applying a generous amount of sunscreen before we head outdoors. But what about the eyes? They can get sun-damaged too, which is why it is important to wear sunglasses whenever you go out and walk straight into UV radiation.
Choosing the right sunglasses is more than just about the aesthetics. Think of it as choosing a sunscreen, but for your eyes.
If you are looking to purchase new sunglasses but unsure how to pick the best one, read on for some of the things you must consider when buying sunglasses.
Choose an optical store
Visit a few optical shops in your area and ask about their prices. Once you have gathered a list of stores that offer competitive pricing for sunglasses, check for reviews from other customers who have previously bought from those stores to know whether you are buying from a trusted seller.
Ideally, you should buy your new pair from an optical store that has a wide selection of sunglasses for different face shapes, and one that employs knowledgeable opticians who can guide you throughout the process of choosing a new pair.
Fashion is only secondary when getting a new pair of sunglasses: your top priority should be protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. When shopping for sunglasses, you will find that not all sunglasses provide the same level of eye protection. Eye experts recommend wearing sunglasses that block a minimum of 99% of both UVA and UVB rays.
Extended exposure to UV rays has been linked to the development of certain eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts, so it’s crucial that your sunglasses provides a maximum blocking of those UV rays and other radiation from the sun.
Sun glare becomes worse when you are driving in the early morning and late afternoon, so if you do much driving, it is best to get a polarized lenses that are especially useful in high glare situations. Polarized lenses block scattered waves of light to improve visual comfort by enhancing clarity of vision.
When shopping for new sunglasses, you want to get a pair that can accommodate an active lifestyle. Polycarbonate lenses are more durable compared with glass or plastic lenses, and they provide maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
Active people need a reliable pair of sunglasses that can withstand high-impact activities. Polycarbonate lenses are also lightweight, so you can wear them comfortably for an extended period.
Consider your unique needs
There are several designs and materials to choose from, and you will only be able to find the “right” pair if you consider your own lifestyle and the activities you typically engage in. The sunglasses you wear when going to a weekend picnic might not be the best pair to wear when you are biking cross-country. If you are active, you need a frame that does not easily break when exposed to harsh weather conditions. In that case, you want to get a pair of close-fitting sunglasses that will provide sun protection and will guard your eyes from pollutants.
Know your face shape
Is your face oval, round, square, or diamond-shaped? Keep in mind that your skin tone, eye color, and face shape differ from your friends, so what may look good on them may not be the perfect fit for you.
You want to get a pair that will enhance your look. The general rule for choosing a frame is to go for one that is the opposite shape of your face.
Here are some simple guidelines:
- Round face – Rectangular frames to give an angular edge to the roundness
- Square face – Rounded frames to soften the angle
- Long face – Wider frames like an aviator