Sunglasses can prevent sun damage to your eyes, improve your vision and make a unique fashion statement. Learn about the different types of sunglasses, including polarized lenses and the latest sunglass styles,
Nonprescription sunglasses are universally popular, whether you are a celebrity in search of the latest fashion statement or an outdoor worker who needs the ultimate in sun and UV protection.
Choices of frames and lenses in this category are almost endless. You often have the option of having your regular eyeglass prescription incorporated into a sunglass frame. But many designer sunglasses that can be purchased "over-the-counter" are called "Plano," which means without prescription.
Options for sunglass frame materials include plastic (often called zyl), basic metal (usually a combination of a variety of metals) and specialty metals such as titanium, aluminum and stainless steel. Many sun wear styles today incorporate both metal and plastic into the design of the frame.
The specialty metals have become increasingly popular in Plano sunglasses because everyone is looking for lightweight options. Titanium, aluminum, stainless steel and even beryllium frames are a somewhat more costly investment, but offer the benefits of thinness and lightness as well as corrosion-resistance and strength.
Interest in performance-oriented sunglasses has surged in recent years, along with participation in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating. Durable and specialized performance sunglasses also are recommended if you work outdoors, do a lot of driving, or you are in the military.
To meet the demands of both casual and competitive athletes, sunglass manufacturers are developing innovative new sport sunglasses to provide the best vision possible under extreme conditions.
The results: lightweight, flexible, durable materials, no-slip components that do not fail in the heat of the moment and, of course, many choices in lenses.
Sunglasses Lenses For High Performance
Perhaps the most important elements of effective sports sunglasses are the optical quality and visual enhancement properties of the lenses. Many lens tints such as brown, green, gray, yellow and orange are now available, with each color suitable for specific circumstances.
Skiers in snow would want the high contrast provided by amber lenses, whereas gray lenses are best for preserving "real world" colors in bright sunlight.
Polycarbonate lenses are the best choice for high performance sunglasses because they are lightweight, super strong and more impact-resistant than most other lens materials.
Polarized lenses also are in demand because they reduce glare from light reflecting off flat surfaces, such as water or a field of snow.
Polarized sunglasses have been popular for years with boaters and fishermen who need to reduce reflected glare from the water surrounding them. But now that many others who spend time outdoors have discovered the benefits of polarized lenses, interest in these types of sunglasses has soared.
Besides boaters, outdoor enthusiasts who benefit the most from polarized
sunglasses include skiers, bikers, golfers and joggers since all of these activities require the elimination of glare for optimum safety and performance.
Polarized sunglasses can be helpful for driving, too, because they reduce glare-causing reflections from flat surfaces, such as the hood of the car or the road's surface.
Some light-sensitive people, including post-cataract surgery patients and those continually exposed to bright light through windows, may also choose to wear polarized sunglasses indoors.
Are prescription sunglasses a good idea?
You may sometimes find yourself driving down the road, sun shining in your eyes, as you search in vain for those clip-on or magnetically attached sun lenses that came with your prescription eyeglasses.
At times like these, you might find that prescription sunglasses are much more convenient and more than worth the additional investment.
Did you know that many high-fashion sunglasses can accept prescription sun lenses?
Contact lens wearers, too, may find that wearing prescription sunglasses is sometimes a far more practical alternative outdoors. For example, you may not want to wear your contact lenses on the beach where your eyes can become itchy and watery as you battle the effects of sand, sun, wind and water.
Even the non-prescription sunglasses you wear over your contact lenses may not provide enough protection. Also, wearing your contact lenses while swimming is a bad idea because of the possibility of potentially serious eye infections caused by microorganisms in the water.
But with prescription sunglasses, you have the option of wearing them anytime outdoors without the need to search for clip-on sunglasses or deal with contact lenses.