Reasons for choosing sunglasses
What do sunglasses do?
Sunglasses protect your eyes from the direct and harmful rays of the sun. Our eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in our body, and they need all the tender loving care they can get. Photosensitivity can aggravate into a serious problem and can result in symptoms like pain in the eyes, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, and can even result in wounds forming in the eyes.
The dangerous infrared and ultraviolet rays of the sun can be very damaging as they cause burns and constant exposure to the direct rays of the sun can also cause skin cancer. With this in mind, it is easy to see how your precious eyes can be harmed even when exposed to the sun for a short period of time.
To protect our skin, we rigorously put sunscreen over our bodies, but we generally forget to protect our eyes. This is in stark contrast with the recommendation of the American Optometric Association which strongly endorse the use of ultraviolet rays blocking sunglasses every time a person is out in the sun.
The science behind sunglasses:
So how exactly do sunglasses perform their protective function? Most of us just like to wear them as they look cool. Having your eyes hidden make you appear mysterious and unpredictable, but on the practical side of things, it makes sense to see which type protect against the dangerous rays of the sun and which do not.
So, we have all heard how the direct light from the sun is bad for you. It has been linked to everything from premature aging and skin burns to skin cancer and brown spots on the skin. This is undoubtedly true, but only for a specific type of light within the sun's spectrum of light. The kind of light that poses a danger to us is the high frequency, high energy light. This includes the UV (ultraviolet radiation) and the high energy visible light (blue light). These high energy lights damage the chemical bonds between our cells beyond repair.
The seriousness of the problem leads to one important conclusion: we must wear sunglasses whenever we expose our eyes to the sun.
But why is that that some sunglasses are deemed better than others? We are not just talking about the expensive sunglasses made by luxury brands, but how experts consider some sunglasses give more protection than others. The quality of good sunglasses depends on a number of different factors, and we will look at each one in turn.
Characteristics to look out for while selecting the perfect pair of glasses:
We can assess how useful and practical a pair of sunglasses is by looking out at the following characteristics:
- Comfort and ease of wear: This sounds like a no-brainer. Apparently, you will be wearing them for a significant amount of time, so they need to be just the right fit. Snug enough to be fixed, but not too tight either. However, the issue is not the frame, but the lenses themselves. The lens must be dark enough that your eyes can withstand the harsh light of the sun. Most sunglasses have light absorbing particles embedded in the lenses or a layer of such particles over them. So, the light never really comes in contact with your eyes. A good pair of sunglasses must have plenty of such particles to maximize the extent of light absorption.
- Tint: Aside from light absorbing material, most sunglasses have colored lenses. Technically speaking, these are tinted, and that increases the protection offered by sunglasses. This is because the tint specifically counters the high energy blue light. Yes, tinting of sunglasses does distort our visuals and our perception of color, but it is a small sacrifice in return of having safety for your eyes.
- 100% UV Protection:A 100% protection factor against UV radiation is a must. This is also the area where you can distinguish the sunglasses into either being good or bad. The reason for this is that the tint added to sunglass lenses makes our pupils expand. This is normal when our eyes try to see in the dark; it is an involuntary reaction. This dilation of pupils can allow for more UV light to enter our eyes than it would normally do without the sunglasses. So, unless your sunglasses give full protection against UV light, they can actually end up doing more harm than good.
Essentially what we have learned till now is that using sunglasses is really important. You can severely damage your eyes since some of the rays in the sun's light can cause irreparable harm to our cells. But selecting a suitable pair of sunglasses is not very straightforward, and one must prioritize the protection factor offered by sunglasses as opposed to how cool they may look.