We all know the classic, timeless song by George Gershwin: “Summertime, and the living is easy.” But it’s important to understand that summer may NOT be so easy on your eyes. Between the drying effect of heat and the intense glare of sunlight, you need to be aware of how summer can affect your eyes and vision—and why wearing the RIGHT KIND of sunglasses is so all-important.
To offer you this information in the clearest, most authoritative way possible, we invited Optique’s Master Optician (yes, this is a real title), Randy Teller, to share with you the 5 crucial things you must know about sunglasses:
# 1 . . . What You Must Know About FUNCTION
It’s true that sunglasses can make you look like a movie star, but they actually serve a much more serious function: They ensure that your eyes are protected from harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires that ALL sunglasses sold in the United States MUST have UV-A and UV-B absorptive lenses.
Fortunately, all legitimate manufacturers easily meet this important regulation, with the two most common lenses from which they make eyeglasses. Both polycarbonate and high-index lenses have within their material the UV-absorptive properties necessary to filter harmful rays, to keep them away from your eyes.
# 2 . . . What You Must Know About TINTS
One of the very fun—yet also very important—decisions you’ll make regarding your sunglasses will be answering the question, “What color of tint do I want?”
Here at Optique, the two most popular tints are brown and gray. A brown tint will improve the contrast of images. For this reason, this color/tint makes for a very nice pair of driving sunglasses. Many of our customers have told us, “There is nothing more beautiful than looking at the scenery through brown lenses. The colors are gorgeous!”
On the other hand, a gray-colored (tinted) lens will do a better job for you in filtering the amount of light passing through your sunglasses. And the gray tint is commonly referred to as a “true-color lens.” This means that all colors are equally muted through the gray lens, so you experience less distortion of colors in the spectrum.
#3 . . . What You Must Know About “FASHION vs. POLARIZED”
Since sunglasses came into existence, people have debated with themselves, “Do I want fashion sunglasses or polarized ones?” The good news is, either way, you are covered with the choices at Optique. We specialize in fashion, polarization, and have frames that satisfy both!
The purpose of polarization is to particularly eliminate the glare caused by diffuse light rays. Glare is the bothersome light that causes momentary “blindness” from the “blinding rays of the sun.” A polarized lens filters all the diffuse rays, and only allows one-directional rays to enter your eyes. Polarized lenses are, by far, the most optically comfortable lenses to wear.
AN INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: When you wear polarized lenses, you will notice the “patterns” in automobile glass. These are the tempering marks left after the manufacturers make the windshield “safety glass.” And you will notice a difference in these patterns in high-end cars versus more economy models.
# 4 . . . What You Must Know About WEARING Your Sunglasses
No matter what type of sunglasses you choose, the most important aspect of them is to WEAR them! We all know we can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. Well, those UV rays passing so easily through the clouds to burn you are the SAME rays that reach your eyes.
Unfortunately, those UV rays can also harm your eyes in other ways. The three most prevalent eye-related issues are cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygia. A fourth—more rarely talked about—is skin cancer. Do you know that 10 percent of all skin cancer is on the eyelid?
So be smart. Protect your eyes. Wear your sunglasses absolutely as much as possible.
# 5 . . . What You Must Know About CHILDREN’S SUNGLASSES
Finally, don't forget about your children, and how they play into this crucial dynamic about sunglasses and the health of your eyes. The visual system in children’s eyes is much clearer than yours, making their eyes even more vulnerable to harmful UV rays. So make sure they have the right kind of sunglasses, too!
For a complete list of sunglasses available from Optique, please visit: https://optiquenashville.com/eye-wear/