With summer officially here, many of us are going to spend a lot more time outdoors. That means cooler clothes and suntan lotion. You also though need to protect your eyes as the sun can give off dangerous ultraviolet rays. Those ultraviolet rays can cause your eyes to develop a variety of eye diseases including cataracts.
The sun also gives off invisible rays due to heat waves. This is called infrared light. Although, infrared light has no known harmful affect on the human eye, it can cause discomfort including dry eyes.
So how do you determine the right sunglass lenses? First, you need to when you will be using the glasses most of the time. If you are usually using them for driving there are many frames to choose from. If though, you are using them for activities such as fishing or biking you may want to look into a specific type of sunglass lens such as a bifocal. This way you can protect your eyes from the sun while still being able to see the detail needed close-up.
To provide full, daylong comfort, sunglasses should eliminate all of the problems that glare can present. Lenses of 15% to 30% visible light transmission seem to reduce glare sufficiently. The visible light transmission (VLT) is the amount of light the lens allows to pass through. A 15% transmission is dark; a 30% lens is lighter. Most high quality sunglasses with glass lenses will usually have visible light transmission levels of 15% to 20%. If your eyes are extra sensitive you might require darker tints.
Always remember not to judge the density or darkness of the lenses for the first few minutes after you walk from inside a building to the outside. The light density is extreme and no matter what lenses you choose, it won’t compensate. Luckily our eyes will adapt after those few minutes are up.
For general outside use you may want to try a pair of Matterhorn’s. Not only are they stylish but also are able to block 99.9% of UV light as well as infrared light.
If you do drive often and the outdoor light from streetlights causes a glare in your vision, you may want to take a look at a pair of Gear or Switch. Both of these frames come with polarized lenses, which greatly diminishes the glare causes by outdoor lighting.
The summer is here! Have fun but remember you only get one set of eyes. Keep them safe!