If you fall into group of people who are often involved in outdoor sports during day time, you may consider wearing a good pair of sunglasses. They protect your eyes from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Long term exposure to UV rays can damage your eye’s surface and its internal structure, results in cataracts. Cataract is a clouding of the natural lens, the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear images. It is even more important for people who live at high elevation or near the equator (my country being one) to wear sunglasses whenever out there for long period of time.
I have friend who has paid more than $1000 for a pair of sunglasses. I have also seen people simply grab a pair and head out to sunshine. The thing is that sunglasses do not have to be expensive for protection purpose. What is more important is the quality. Here are 9 practical tips in buying the best sunglasses.
- Look at the UV protection, 99 to 100 percent is highly recommended. Some of the lables say “UV absorption up to 400 nm” which is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.
- Darker color of the lens may not necessarily be good. Do not be decived by the color. It is actually the outer coating, which has a clear color, that filters out the UV rays, and not the color. The color does provide some comfort to your eyes, but without a proper UV coating, the darker color actually fool your eye into opening up more and let in more harmful rays. Having said that, a good pair of sunglasses should still block at least 75% of the visible light. What I normally do is to try the glasses in front of a mirror. If I can my eyes easily through the lenses, they are too light.
- Opt for polarized lenses.Polarized lenses reduce reflected glare. Physics here, light does not travel in straight line, means sunlight bounces from smooth surfaces like pavement, shiny green grass, white sand or water. For people who like skiing, mountain climbing, biking, kayaking or golfing, this feature is very important.
- Check out the gradient of the shading. Single gradient, which has dark shade on top and lighter shade on the bottom) can cut glare from the sky but allow you to see clearly below. Single gradient is helpful in driving. Double gradient lenses (dark on top and bottom and lighter in the middle) will be suitable for sports which light relfects up from the water or snow, like sailing or skiing.
- You may not need photochromic lens. This type of lens automatically darkens in bright ligh and becomes lighter when it is dark. I did have a pair of it, but because the changes of the len color take too long (about 3 to 6 minutes) to change, I find it annoying when I drive through tunnel.
- Go for impact resistance lens. Glass lens are scratch resistant, but heavier and easy to be broken. I am using polycarbonate plastic which is used in many sports sunglasses. It is light and less likely to shatter compared to glass lenses. But, if you buy polycarbonate lenses, get the one with scratch resistant coatings because plastic, by nature, is more prone to scratches.
- Get those which are close fitting or wrap around to prevent UV rays from getting into your eyes from the sides and the top of the frames.
- If you are going to wear sunglasses for long hours, like a round of golf for 3 hours, get something light weight. Light weight does not mean you have to compromise on its durability. Nylon made frame is a good choice.
Another thing, I still suggest you to wear sunglasses.:
- Even if your contact lens offering UV protection.
- Even if your car window tints can absorbing in UV rays.
Once you bought a nice sunglasses, do not get excited with them. Do not wear them and look at welding or gaze at the sun, especially during a solar eclipse, directly. Sunglasses can only do so much to protect your eyes.
So, those are the tips in buying a good pair of sports sunglasses. Higher price does not mean better lens. You may be paying for the style or design. Cheaper plastic frames actually last longer than metal frames. I am not saying that you should not go for style. I personally like those wrap around models. The best deal will be getting glasses with high quality yet at the same time is stylish and affordable. I want you to look good too with that sunglasses, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 or Will Smith in Men in Black.
How about the one worn by Keanu Reaves in Matrix?
Don’t forget to check out some of the bestselling sports sunglasses in Amazon.
Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment
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