Sunglasses

Stylish and popular sunglasses for men and women

Sunglasses are popular fashion accessories that protect your eyes from the effects of bright light and sunlight. While both men's sunglasses and women's sunglasses have important protective features and properties, they are often worn purely for style. Designer sunglasses are extremely popular with consumers all around the world.

Besides looking great, sunglasses provide essential eye protection. Overexposure to bright light and direct sunlight can cause many serious problems, both temporary and permanent, short-term and long-term. These include everything from arc eye and snow blindness to cataracts and even eye cancer.

When choosing sunglasses, you should pay attention to more than just the latest fashion trends. There are several international standards used to assess the level of protection sunglasses offer as well as specialized lens types that are very effective at neutralizing the effects of bright sunlight.

Assessing the Protection Provided by Sunglasses

Unlike the universal sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen, there is currently no international standard in place that codifies the protective qualities of sunglasses, though there are metrics used to assess their quality and the level of protection they offer. In the United States, there are three specific measurements used. The first measures the percentage of UVB rays that are able to penetrate the lenses; you should wear sunglasses that permit no more than 1 percent of UVB rays through. The second metric measures the amount of UVA light transmittance, and a good pair of sunglasses will allow no more than one-third of visible UVA light through the lenses. Finally, impact resistance is measured, though this is usually a factor only in sunglasses designed for wear at industrial job sites.

Types of Sunglass Lenses

Sunglass lenses vary according to color as well as how they affect the visual properties of light. Color variations include:

  • Green and gray. These lenses have a neutral effect.
  • Orange, yellow and brown. While these options create significant distortion of color, they increase contrast and enhance your sense of depth perception.
  • Blue and purple. These lenses are designed purely for style and are typically only found in fashion sunglasses.
  • Turquoise. Sunglass lenses that are turquoise increase contrast but don't have much of an effect on color perception. They are an excellent choice for extremely bright conditions and for drivers.

You can also get polarized sunglasses which greatly reduce glare coming off snow or water. They're a favorite of drivers and boaters who need to see clearly in sometimes-difficult visual conditions.

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