If there’s one thing all beach bums and pool peeps should know, it’s that you should always wear your sunglasses. The sun can tear up your eyes, leaving them aged, ravaged and red. Everyone is at risk for eye-damage from the sun year round. The greatest risk during the day occurs at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But is there more to selecting an affordable, quality pair of sunglasses that still has a bit of style? Here are things to consider when looking for a pair of quality lenses.
1. Always look for an OHSA label with at least 99 or 100 percent UV protection. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has produced a standard for all sunglasses. It’s what separates effective sunglasses from a pair you can get at a gas station so if you can’t find it on the lens, it’s probably not worth buying.
2. Make sure that they fit! Look for wrap-around and/or close-fitting makes to prevent harmful UV rays from creeping in on the sides and top of the frames.
3. Don’t fret over style or brand. Unless you’re Bono or a movie star, style should be secondary. Expensive brands such as Prada and Versace don’t offer the same protection as cheaper pairs and there are plenty of sleek, trendy styles and brands at more affordable prices as well as better UV protection.
4. Don’t worry about the price. Higher costs usually just means more trendy brands or expensive metal frames. Plastic frames will actually last longer. On the other end, don’t skimp out for a $10 pair that will break or offers no protection. A just a few more dollars could get you a pair of sunglasses that offers durability, style, and most importantly, UV protection.
5. Pay no attention to the color or darkness of the lens. It is the outer coating (which is clear) that filters out the UV rays, not the color. While color can provide some comfort, without a UV coating, darker colors actually fool your eye into opening up more and let in more harmful rays.
6. Finally, wear them most (if not all) of the time! Buy your kids a pair and get them into the habit of wearing them early and often. A comfortable pair can be worn all day with little inconvenience. Surfeyes.com is a great site for finding affordable, trendy glasses to fit your budget and taste.
ANSI sunglasses standards: