How to choose sunglasses for summer?

Medical content revised by - Last revision 09/05/2016
How to choose sunglasses for summer?

In summer, the must-have accessory is a pair of sunglasses. Fashion offers sunglasses of all shapes and sizes, but, in addition to how they look on us aesthetically, we must bear in mind that they must protect our eyes from UV rays.

What is the first thing to be checked when choosing a pair of sunglasses?

The most important is that they bear the CE approval mark. Moreover, they must bear the ISO EN 1836:1997 mark and protect us 100% from ultraviolet radiation (UV mark). It is important to be especially careful with sunglasses that have not been acquired in specialized stores, as they may be fake glasses to which fake marks have been added.

The darker the lens are, the more they protect?

Although this is a widespread belief, it is not true. Between slightly tinted lenses and dark lenses, the ones with a slight tint may protect better our eyes if they wear a better quality UV filter than glasses with a darker tint.

All sunglasses can be used for all kind of activities?

Sunglasses must be chosen depending on which kind of activity we intend to use them for. If we choose, for example, a pair of sunglasses with dark tint lenses, they may be not suitable for driving.

How can we choose the appropriate protection?

There are protection levels going from 0 to 4. Protection 4 sunglasses block a higher amount of light. This should not be mistaken with UV rays filter, which must protect to a 100%.

What should we bear in mind when protecting our children’s eyes?

Due to their young age, children’s eyes are more permeable to light. A much higher percentage of UVA and UVB rays enters children’s eyes when compared to the amount of rays penetrating adult eyes. In adults, the crystalline lens blocks part of such rays, although protection is still vital.

Therefore, it is important not to wear sunglasses bought at non-specialized stores. There are sunglasses with good quality filters, of all shapes and at affordable prices which can properly protect children’s eyes.

All frames allow corrective lenses?

When looking for sunglasses, we always try to find the ones which suits us best and which are also trendy… However, not all corrective lenses are suitable for all sunglasses frames. Therefore, it is advisable to notify the refractive power you need in sunglasses to the optician and choose the lens before the frame.

What are polarized lenses? Are they advisable for sunlight?

Polarized lenses are a special kind of lenses that avoid reflection and mirror effects in sunglasses, for example when we see light reflected on water or metallic surfaces. This feature prevents eyestrain, avoiding the need of constantly accommodating our eyes to changing lighting conditions. As polarized lenses only allow useful light in, they provide a much clearer and contrasted vision.

What about faded lenses? Do they also properly protect our eyes?

If faded sunglasses have the appropriate UV rays filter, they can allow us to rest our eyes by using their lower side for reading or other activities. Nevertheless, when light is reflected on the ground or other surfaces, it penetrates more easily in our eyes through this same faded part, so it is important to be careful when using this kind of sunglasses.

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