Girl wearing goggles smiling at the beach

Believe it or not, all sunglasses are NOT created with your vision’s best interests in mind.

When shopping for sunglasses, most people look for a pair of shades with a tint that cuts glare from light. Most people are mindful enough to know that sunglasses should block the ultraviolet rays from the sun. And, of course, most people want their sunglasses to look good.

Before you decide to shop for your new shades, make sure you keep the following in mind:

Cheap Lenses Can Impair Your Vision
Yes, that’s right. Those inexpensive sunglasses you picked up at the corner store are usually built with low-grade non-ophthalmic material. Warpage and abberations common to these materials will actually distort your vision. It’s similar to looking through a funhouse mirror. Quality sunglasses are made with ophthalmic grade lenses that are warp and distortion free, allowing you crisp, clear vision even in the brightest situations.

If you aren’t sure if your current sunglass lenses are helping or hurting your vision, give us a call. We can place your sunglasses in front of our chart projector which will readily reveal any distortion on the eyechart – right before your eyes!

Tint vs PolarizedPolarized Simulation

Tinted lenses darken what you see. Polarized lenses eliminate the glare that makes seeing difficult.

With a tint, you are letting less light into your eye – basically making what you are seeing seem darker. Polarized lenses remove the blinding, glaring rays of the sun, all the while letting appropriate vision enter your eye. It is the most comfortable, safest means of glare protection.

Polarized lenses are highly recommended for everyday use for their glare reduction and increased visual performance. You’ll also see drastic benefits for driving, outdoor occupations, sports, boating, and fishing. Sit on the beach and not be bothered by the glare off the water!

Backside Anti-Reflection Protection
Adding a non-glare treatment to the back surface of your sunglass lenses absorbs the bouncing glare that we get from behind. Any time you experience glare, your visual potential is decreased.

A good example of this type of glare is when you see the reflection of your eye in the back of your sunglasses. That reflection is actually blocking your vision. Requesting a back surface anti-reflection treatment will cure this troublesome backside bouncing!

>The Darker The Better…Right?
Wrong! When your eyes are behind a very dark sunglass lens, your pupils react the same as they do at night or in a dark room – they widen. While beneficial at night, a wide pupil in the sunlight lets in more damaging rays. Opt for Polarized lenses – their glare cutting properties eliminates the need for a darker lens.

Color ConundrumsAmber lenses
Does the color of the lens make any difference? Absolutely! Studies are now heavily favoring an amber colored lens for best overall visual performance & clarity. An amber lens will stop blue light rays from entering your eye which are the most glare producing rays in the spectrum. Brown lenses run a close second to amber. Amber and brown tones provide visual contrast and add a warming sense to your view.

Grey lenses, on the other hand, will keep your colors neutral and add a coolness to the scene. However, they can’t compare in the contrast category with amber.

Pass on yellow tints for sunwear. Yellow does add contrast, but on the downside it will brighten an already bright, sunny day.

The best overall sport performer is amber. Amber wins hands down for snow, winter sports, marine activities, fishing, and golf due to its glare cutting nature and contrast creating properties.

Our stylist and lens expert can provide guidance on which color will be best for you.

UV – The Sunglass Must Have
Ultraviolet (UV) rays damage our eyes just like they damage your skin. It is critical that your sunglasses block UV from entering your eyes.

Look for lenses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses come equipped with maximum blockage as part of their manufacturing process, as are some of the different materials of which prescription eyeglass lenses are made.

If you aren’t sure whether your sunglasses are giving you maximum protection, we’ll be happy to check them out. Just give us a call or stop by and we’ll put them to the test.

Frame Fundamentals
It’s true…size does matter. A large sunglass frame will offer more protection than those smaller shades. A bigger frame tends to block from above near the brow and below where light reflects up from the ground. Look for wrapping or curved frames that sit close to the face and block rays from the side.

Beware of small frames that sit far from your face – all those gaps between you and the frame are letting harmful rays bypass the protection afforded from your lenses.Boating

How Can We Help?
Our trained stylists will give expert recommendations for your lifestyle, sports, and recreation as to which sunglass lenses, treatments, and frames will best suit your needs.  When you’re out in the glaring sun, you won’t have to worry about your eyes.  We blend fashion and function so not only will your sunglasses look great, they’ll also give you maximum visual performance when you need it most.