While we can all appreciate pretty frames, sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory. They are a crucial tool for safeguarding your eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and other elements.
Further, did you know wearing poor-quality sunglasses could actually harm your vision!? (1)
When it comes to selecting that perfect new pair of shades, it’s essential to consider not just the style – but also the safety aspects – to ensure your eyes are protected.
Safety first – always! It should be non-negotiable that your sunnies:
1 – Provide 100% UV protection.
Did you know, there are two different types of UV rays that can damage your eyes? Some sunglasses may indicate they offer UV protection but be unclear on specifics. It is crucial to choose sunglasses that clearly provide 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Exposure to this dangerous UV light may increase your risk of several eye diseases including:
2 – Offer full coverage
Elton John’s iconic Swarovski Heart Sunglasses may look fab, but a style like that doesn’t shield your eyes from all angles. Opt for frames that wrap around your face; not only will they offer protection against nasty UV rays, but they will also prevent dust, wind, and other particles from reaching your eyes. Larger frames can also help to reduce peripheral light, enhancing visual comfort in bright conditions.
3 – Have polarised lenses
Polarised sunglasses contain a special filter in the lenses that blocks horizontal light waves, reducing glare, and providing better clarity of vision. This is particularly important when engaging in activities like driving, water sports, or skiing, where glare from surfaces can be blinding.
4 – Comply with Australian Standards
Look for labels indicating that the sunglasses meet AS/NZS 1067:2016 standards. This certification ensures that the lenses offer sufficient UV protection for your eyes (3).
5 – Ideally, be prescribed by an optometrist.
It’s not just cheap sunnies that can be the culprit when it comes to eye damage. Some of the more expensive, designer counterparts can lack essential safety features too. However, when an optometrist prescribes sunglasses tailored to you, they will be optically correct – helping eliminate eye strain (and any associated headaches or nausea), and with guaranteed protection built in.
While a budget-friendly pair of sunnies might seem like a steal, they may come at a high cost to your vision. Potential issues could include:
Finding sunglasses that suit your face shape not only makes you feel great, but also ensures the most appropriate protection for your eyes. Some general guidelines include:
Investing in high-quality sunglasses is an investment in your eye health; we stock great brands such as Maui Jim as well as Bolle, Nike, Calvin Klein and more. Book an appointment with one of our experienced Redlands optometrists on (07) 3824 1878 today if you’re ready for a new pair of sunglasses!
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