With the huge selection of different styles of sunglasses available, making a decision can be difficult. Choosing the right pair for you depends on your lifestyle, fashion tastes, and outdoor activities. Protecting your eyes is one of the most important uses for sunglasses, but different frames and styles offer varying levels of protection from solar radiation and from the outside elements. Most sunglasses protect from ultraviolet light (UV light), but some inexpensive ones are made primarily for costume purposes and do not offer appropriate protection.
How do you pick the right sunglasses?
Of the different sunglasses that do protect from UV light, there are a wide variety of types on the market today. Generally, they fall into two main types:
- Casual sunglasses are offered in a variety of fashionable styles and colors. They are not designed to protect your eyes during active sporting activities and are usually best for running errands around town, driving, and other typical low-impact activities and sports.
- Sport sunglasses may help block out wind, dirt, and other debris during outdoor activities such as hiking or mountain biking.
In addition to the different types above, lenses can be made of different materials and allow a different amount of light through. Generally, you should choose a darker color lens (brown, gray, or green) for outdoor activities and typical use. For low-light conditions or situations with moderate light such as skiing, you may want to choose a light lens color (yellow, amber, or rose).
If you use prescription eyeglasses, you may want to consider prescription sunglasses. They use the same prescription as your eyeglasses and are custom-designed to help you see better in sunny conditions.
There are many different types of lenses available:
- Plastic lenses are lightweight, inexpensive and strong but may scratch easily and do not offer the best possible optical clarity. They may also shatter. These are excellent for general use.
- Glass lenses provide excellent optical clarity but are heavy and may break easily. These are great for casual sunglasses.
- Polycarbonate lenses are frequently used for sports sunglasses because they are light, impact-resistant and strong. They usually need additional coatings such as anti-scratch and anti-reflective treatments.
- Trivex lenses are high-tech lenses that are light, have strong optical clarity and are impact-resistant. These generally also are more expensive than the other options.
Ultimately, the frame, style, and lens you choose also depends on your personal sense of style. Sunglasses can help you reflect your personality while keeping your eyes safe and keeping away fatigue from bright light and glare. For these reasons, a fun and useful pair is a worthwhile investment.