Sunglass Styles and Features
From sports to fashion in frames, and plastic to glass in lenses, sunglasses offer a variety of styles and features to suit your individual needs.
UVB rays burn your skin and can cause damage to your eyes. In addition, some research suggests that UVB exposure can cause serious eye conditions, like cataracts (see also: eye anatomy). How much UV-blocking ability should your sunglasses have? Learn about ultraviolet rays and your eyes. And if you're very concerned about UV, you should also read about UV-blocking contact lenses.
Polarized lenses reduce glare, making them great for use around lakes and oceans, which can make polarized sunglasses handy for boaters and fishermen. These lenses are also handy for a wide variety of sports, like skiing. Polarized lenses in ski goggles reduce glare from light reflecting off of the snow.
Mirrored lenses reduce the amount of light that reaches your eyes, so they can provide extra comfort in strong glare conditions. Mirrors can be semi-opaque or opaque from the front, so other people can see your eyes a little, or not at all.
For those who need prescription sunglasses to correct their myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism, these lenses darken when you go outside and lighten when you go inside. What does this mean for you? No need to keep a pair of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses on you at all times. Learn more about photochromic lenses.
These usually range from fairly dark at the top of the lens to a clear bottom, but they're also available in different gradations. Gradient lenses that are clear or light on the bottom make it easy to see the dash when you're driving, but are usually not effective enough if anything below your line of vision will be reflecting light up at you.
Sunglass Styles and Features
With so many sunglass styles and brands, you're certain to find one that's just right for you. Your options range from high-fashion designer sunglasses to high-tech performance sunglasses that prevent eye injuries. Visit manufacturers' websites to view sunglass lines and models, or read a sampling of what's new in sunglasses.
What About Prescriptions?
It might surprise you to learn that many sunglass styles are available as prescription sunglasses, even those with photochromic or polarized lenses. Prescription sunglasses are generally available from an optometrist or optical store.
You can order sunglasses with single vision lenses, as bifocals, as trifocals and as no-line progressives. You can even get reading glasses that have sun lenses in them; these are great for people who normally wear contact lenses for distance vision but need a little help to read at the beach or in other outdoor situations.
Of course, you can avoid the need for prescription sunglasses by wearing contact lenses or having refractive surgery such as LASIK.