Our eyes process light in order to see clearly. But light rays, particularly ultraviolet or UV light, can be harsh on the naked eye and even cause significant damage. It is important to protect your eyes from UV rays to keep them and your vision healthy. Sunglasses – the right sunglasses – can protect our eyes from harmful light rays, taking them beyond fashion to serve an important function.
Sunglasses comfort your eyes by shielding them from the brightness of the sun’s UV rays. Excessive exposure to the sun can result in cataracts, eye cancer, eye growths, and even photokeratitis known as ‘snow blindness.’ Fortunately, these conditions can be minimized and prevented by wearing quality sunglasses.
What to look for in quality sunglasses:
- Make sure the lenses are labeled either “100% UV protection” or “UV400”, to make sure they block both UV-A and UV-B rays.
- Bigger frames, lenses, and wrap-around designs offer more protection from light coming in around the sides of the frames.
- Frames should fit snugly around your nose and ears, without rubbing or pinching.
- Polarized lenses reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water and sand. However, polarization doesn’t block UV rays but can make seeing more comfortable if you have an active, outdoor lifestyle.
- The color of the lens doesn’t affect its light-blocking ability or level of UV protection. However, some colors may increase contrast, which is ideal for playing sports like golf or baseball, or activities out on the water.
- Dark color lenses (brown, grey, green): perfect for everyday, outdoor use and intended to cut glare without distorting natural colors.
- Light color lenses (yellow, rose, amber): great for moderate to low light conditions making your surroundings look brighter and enhancing contrast on flatter surfaces.
2023 Trends in sunglasses
While most people use eyeglasses or contacts in their daily life to see clearly, many have started styling nonprescription frames to make a fashion statement. No matter how you’re utilizing frames or sunglasses, here are the top trends for 2023:
- Rectangular frames
- Exaggerated or oversized styles
- Sporty (but edgy)
- Visor or shield lenses
- Rounded cat-eye shapes
If you need eyeglasses to see clearly, sunglasses can be made with prescription lenses, protecting your eyes from the sun, and meeting your vision needs. However, it is important to know not all frames can accommodate every prescription. And adding prescriptions to sunglasses can get expensive.
Your eye doctor is a great resource to discuss options for vision correction. Laser vision correction procedures, like LASIK and SMILE, give you the freedom to pick sunglasses for fashion and UV protection without the expense of prescription lenses.