Nearly 300 million pairs of sunglasses are sold in the U.S. alone. Nearly $2.5 billion is being spent annually in the purchase of sun glasses. Bausch and Lomb remains the world's largest manufacturer of sunglasses. It is essential to understand the need for sunglasses and the UV protection they offer. Are they merely a fashion accessory? Find out how polarized sun glasses offer added protection against glare. What do you need to look for when shopping for man sunglasses or fashionable sun glasses for women?
Sun glasses Guide
Today sun glasses come in a wide range of types and prices, from polarized glasses to designer branded sunglasses and reading sunglasses. Sun glasses are primarily used to keep the eyes protected from UV rays. UV 400 is the industry standard for sunglasses - a good pair that will keep out nearly 98% of UV light. Sunglass lenses come in glass, polycarbonate or CR-39. Plastic lenses offer poor optical quality, though they are relatively cheaper.
Polycarbonate is more resistant but is easily prone to scratches. CR-39 offers better optical quality than polycarbonate. The best optical quality is provided by glass lenses but they can be quite heavy. Glass lenses are more scratch resistant and offer better optics than plastic lenses. Ensure that the lenses filter out the infrared light from the intense sun conditions. Photo chromic lenses darken when exposed to light.
Sunglasses with photo chromic lenses adjust the levels of darkness according to the levels of UV rays that are being exposed. Gradient lenses are dark on the top and gradually get lighter as the tint reaches the bottom of the lens.
The frame of the sunglasses is the determining factor between an ordinary pair and an exclusive designer one. Better quality sunglasses usually come fitted with lightweight frames that offer good strength and durability. Do not stare at intense light even if you are wearing sun glasses. Do not let your sun glasses affect your driving. Close fitting sunglasses offer better protection from UV rays filtering in.
Dark colored sunglasses do not necessarily offer better sun protection. The UV protection depends on the clear chemical coating that is applied to the lens. Brown and amber lenses reduce glare but create a hazy appearance. Green tinted lenses are effective in filtering out blue light and provide good contrast between objects. Rose hued lenses in sunglasses are ideal for water sports since they offer a good contrast against blue backgrounds.
Polarized sun glasses
Those spending considerable time near snow, sand or water must take additional care to protect their eyes from sunlight that bounces off these surfaces. Polarized sunglasses use lens that block out the light coming from the horizontal meridian while allowing it to come in from the vertical median. This can be particularly useful when you are traveling on water or snow. Fishermen, skiers and bikers and joggers also prefer polarized sunglasses.
Glare caused by light bouncing off the lens is reduced thereby promoting comfortable vision. A good pair of polarized sun glasses can provide you with improved clarity and color transmission as well as reduced eyestrain. Polarized lens can be judged on the basis of its clarity, density and the alignment of the film within the lens. The polarized film must be correctly aligned within the frame and the color of the film will play a major part in its effectiveness.
Polarized sun glasses are also of particular comfort to post-cataract surgery patients. When selecting polarized sunglasses, ensure that the frames do not twist or wrap the lenses. There is conflicting opinion on the effectiveness of polarized sun glasses for downhill skating and driving vehicles. Some experts are of the opinion that polarized lenses may not provide adequate contrast needed for skiers to distinguish ice patches. Besides, such lenses may cause LCDs on car dashboards to be invisible at certain angles.
Designer sun glasses
There is no dearth of designer sunglasses for the truly brand conscious. Gucci, Armani, Calvin Klein or Guess - the list of designer sun glasses is long. Designer sunglasses are important fashion accessories. Designer sunglasses are stocked at most optical stores and sunglass specialty stores. The range varies from the conservation and urban to modern and wild. You need to look for a frame and style that matches your face shape, lifestyle and personality.
Most designer sunglasses are produced under license with an eyewear company. Head for a designer eyewear store and you will be spoiled for choice - Fendi, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Guess and Kenneth Cole. Celebrity sun glasses popularized by film stars and models are instrumental in creating an image. Ever so often the celebrity is identified with specialty sunglasses. Britney Spears, Sophia Loren, Ivanka Trump and Linda Evans are celebrities that have their own sunglasses line.
Man sun glasses
Aviator styled sun glasses are a popular choice with men. Wraparound sunglasses can also become a fashion statement. Rimless style of sunglasses are yet another choice in men's sun glasses. There is no dearth of designer sun glasses for men. You can find metal aviators or vintage look plastic sun glasses or even unusual ones with openwork designs and metal trim. Men can stick to staid sunglasses in colors such as classic black or dark brown or opt for jazzier colors. Aviator sunglasses for men are shaped like teardrops and were the favored style since the 1950s. Wraps have been in vogue for men's sunglasses and serve the purpose of offering excellent protection to the eye. One-piece shield man sunglasses come either in rimless styles or with attractive rims.
Women's sun glasses
Women's sun glasses are a fashion accessory that need to be coordinated with the look and lifestyle. Be it sleek metal frames or over sized plastic frames, women's sunglasses can be found in interesting styles - encrusted with rhinestones or polished to a shine. Choosing women's sunglasses is a matter of individual choice - as far as the frame and style go.
While some prefer large sunglasses, others opt for smaller fashionable frames. The color of the lens is a factor of comfort as well as style. Women's Sunglasses are available in shades of blues, reds, browns and greens - choose one that flatters your face shape and skin tone. Choose your sun glasses with care. Choose a frame size and shape that complements your face shape. Typically rectangular frames work well for people with round faces while round and square frames are ideal for people with oblong faces.
Clip on sun glasses
Clip on sunglasses are ideal for those who wear prescription glasses but do not want to opt for reading sun glasses. It is essential to invest in good clip on sun glasses that wont damage your prescription lenses or frames. Clip on glasses come in a variety of colors and styles. Magnetic clip on sunglasses are easy to slip on and off. They can be wrapped around the frames for added protection. Fit over sunglasses are yet another variety of clip on sunglasses that extend a shield over the existing glasses. Clip on sun glasses are the easiest way to convert your prescription glasses into sunglasses.
Golf sun glasses
Special golf sun glasses allow golfers to see both far and near objects on the course. It filters out the red and blue light but lets the green light in. Golfers are often faced with excessive sunlight or even low light. Ideally golf sunglasses must offer optimal vision under all these playing conditions. What a golfer needs is glare reduction and UV protection.
Bifocal sun glasses
If you enjoy sitting in the sun beside the pool and curl up with your favorite book, then reading sun glasses or bifocal sun glasses are the best choice. Invest in a good quality reading sun glasses - on that will combine comfort and optical quality. Bifocal lens sunglasses are ideal for those who need to see distance but cannot focus close up. Trifocal lenses allow a person to focus on the intermediate distance too. Progressive lenses allow visibility at different ranges but there is no visible demarcation as in the case of bifocal sun glasses.