The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest during the summer, and can damage unprotected eyes in as little as 15 minutes. While wearing sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection is important throughout the year, taking extra sun-safety precautions during the summer is especially important.
The need for sunglasses is universal, but tastes and lifestyle needs vary. But whether your tastes run to aviators or wayfarers, mirrored or tinted, the sunglasses you choose affect far more than your style; they can directly impact your eye health, too. Fortunately, it's possible to find sunglasses that protect your eyes and celebrate your sense of style. As you're shopping for sunglasses, keep these tips in mind:
* Pick the right shape. Just as the shape of your face influences your choice in haircuts, it will affect what type of sunglasses look good on you. People with oval faces can wear almost any shape of sunglasses. Rectangular frames and lenses will help add length to a round face, and oval glasses will compliment diamond or square faces. If your face is more oblong than oval, consider a round or square frame that rests at the widest part of your face.
* Choose the right lenses. Choose lenses that provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB light. WebMD.com says you should look for a label indicating the lenses block 99 to 100% of UVB and UVA rays, meet ANSI (American National Standards Institute) requirements, and provide UV 400 protection. If glare is a concern, polarized lenses filter out sunlight reflected off flat surfaces such as water or pavement, making them a good choice if you'll be wearing them boating or while driving an automobile.
* Find the right solution. Eyeglass wearers should use sunglasses too, but many go without proper sun protection because of the high cost of prescription sunglasses or the inconvenience of having to switch glasses when they move from indoors to outdoors. Clip-on sunglasses attach to virtually any style of eyeglasses, plus tinted clip-ons can be specially made to slip on over prescription eye wear. Significantly less expensive than prescription sunglasses, these options make it cost-effective to keep multiple pairs wherever you need them -- in the car, office, at home or in your gym bag. A variety of styles ensure you can easily achieve the right look for any personality and every occasion.
* Wear the right lens tint. Lens tint impacts more than just personal style. UV protective coating is clear, so a lighter-hued lens can be just as effective at UV protection as a darker one. The color of the lens will, however, affect your perceptions of color. For minimal color distortion, choose gray, green or brown lenses, especially if you'll wear them while driving.
* Spend the right amount. Remember that while many low-cost shades probably won't provide adequate UV protection, you still don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good pair of sunglasses. Regardless of how much you pay, it is always important to evaluate the quality and durability of every pair before you buy.