I love to be outside as much as possible, and will wear sunglasses when I remember, but I often misplace or lose them. Am I damaging my eyes when I’m outside without them? What should I look for when buying a new pair?
Your eyes are sensitive and need protection. Sunglasses are especially important during the summer months when the earth is closer to the sun and UV rays are at their strongest. However, you ... read more
Your eyes are sensitive and need protection. Sunglasses are especially important during the summer months when the earth is closer to the sun and UV rays are at their strongest. However, you don’t want to discount the value of a good pair of shades during the winter. Even in Michigan we have an occasional sunny day in January, and sun reflecting off fresh snow can be harmful to our eyes. If you want your sunglasses to protect you from these risks, look for ones that block at least 99% of UVB rays and at least 95% of UVA rays. Don’t buy sunglasses labeled “cosmetic” or those that do not provide UV protection information.
Lens color doesn’t just make a fashion statement, it affects how well you detect contrast and differentiate colors. Some colors enhance contrast, but often at the expense of color distinction. For example:
Gray lenses reduce light intensity without affecting contrast or distorting colors.
Copper sunglasses will mute the sky and grass against a golf ball.
Blue and green sunglasses enhance contrast with a yellow tennis ball.
Brown lenses partially enhance contrast by blocking some blue light, which is good for snow sports and hunting.
Amber or yellow lenses significantly enhance contrast because they block most or all blue light. This is great for hunting and snow sports, but bad for driving.
Red or orange lenses are good for snow sports, but only on overcast days. If you’re a hunter, orange lenses are good for clay targets against open backgrounds.
Finally, it’s important to look at other ways to protect your eyes. When purchasing new prescription eyeglass lenses or contact lenses, always choose UV protection. Consider a transition lens for additional comfort against bright sun. And don’t forget to wear proper protective lenses whenever you’re working with yard equipment, doing renovations or handling debris. The only way to be absolutely safe from eye injuries is to wear the right eye protection 100% of the time.