Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting a little older and wiser, but I recently had a major revelation. There are more important things about sunglasses than how stylish they are. I’ve been a major sunglass fanatic for years. My Ray-Ban aviators have seen me through countless summers, and I’ve had a hard time resisting the temptation of new sunglasses. When the Oakley Thump came out in 2004 with a built-in digital audio player, I was first in line. What I didn’t realize was that I was building a collection of highly stylish sunglasses that offered little protection for my eyes whatsoever.
Why Sunglass Lens Quality Matters
We often hear about UV rays causing damage to the skin, but we forget that they can also harm the lens and cornea of the eyes. UV radiation increases the chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. Reflected sunlight can also cause photokeratitis, a corneal sunburn better known as “snow blindness.”
My Solution for Style and Protection
I’m not ready to give up my sunglass collection, so I decided on replacing sunglass lenses in my favorite pairs with more protective ones. Quality replacement sunglass lenses are available from aftermarket providers at a fraction of the cost of lenses straight from the manufacturer. All that was left was to decide which sunglass replacement lenses to choose.
Choosing the Right Sunglass Replacement Lenses
Contrary to what many believe, darker lenses don’t necessarily provide better protection against UV radiation– the coating that blocks UV rays is totally clear. Lens color does, however, affect color perception. When deciding to replace sunglass lenses, it’s worth considering how you use each pair. I chose to designate one pair for boating and water sports, one for driving, and one for day-to-day wear. For boating and water sports, I chose polarized replacement lenses. They reduce glare and come with an anti-reflective coating for maximum clarity. For driving, I chose rose tinted glasses to help visibility and contrast on blue and green backgrounds. For day-to-day wear, I chose brown sunglass replacement lenses. They minimize color distortion and look very stylish.
It’s also important to make sure the lenses you’ve chosen are of high quality. To test them, wear your sunglasses and focus on a vertical edge or line. Move your head back and forth, allowing your eyes to sweep across the lens. If the line appears to wiggle at all, the lenses might have an optical defect.
Choosing better quality sunglass replacement lenses can make all the difference for your eye health down the road. If your sunglasses aren’t adequately protecting your vision, think about picking up a new pair or replacing your lenses. Your eyesight is nothing to trifle with. Continue reading here.