• Eye Wear

What to Look for in Sunglasses

what to look for in sunglasses

Protect your Vision in Style!

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.

Our Top Tips on What to Look For in Sunglasses

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.

Beware of Poor-Quality Sunglasses

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:

  • Insufficient UV protection. Exposure to certain wavelengths of light can damage several parts of your eye over time, leading to long-term health issues (4).
  • Eye strain. Cheap materials can result in warping of the lenses and the frame, leading to poor optical quality and eye strain.
  • Low impact resistance. Poor-quality lenses and frames may not provide the level of impact resistance that meets Australian standards. This could be dangerous, for example, if they were to shatter while you were wearing them.

What About Style?

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:

  1. Round Face: Consider angular frames, such as square or rectangular shapes, which can help add definition and contrast.
  2. Square Face: Round or oval frames can help to soften strong features, whereas overly angular frames will emphasise squareness.
  3. Oval Face: Lucky you! Oval faces tend to be versatile and can pull off most frame shapes. Experiment with different styles to find what you love.
  4. Heart-Shaped Face: Look for frames that balance the width of your forehead with your narrower jawline. Aviator or cat-eye styles can be flattering choices.
  5. Diamond Face: Why not consider rimless or semi-rimless frames to accentuate your unique face shape? However, you may want to avoid overly boxy or narrow frames.

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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