Sunglasses, with or without prescription lenses, are an essential part of our everyday lives. Not only do sunglasses offer UV eye and skin protection but also reduce glare and increase comfort when driving, playing sports or during any outdoor activities.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a pair of sunglasses:
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight can cause cumulative and irreversible damage your eyes. 100% UVA and UVB protection is applied to the lenses and is not determined by how dark a lens is. Did you know that Zeiss clear lenses are also 100% UVA and UVB protective? Always ensure that your sunglasses are UV protective. You can be rest assured that your sunnies from Mullers Optometrists will protect your eyes!
Lens Colours and Intensity
There are 3 main factors to consider when choosing the sunglass tint:
- Lens Colour
- Lens Intensity (darkness)
- Fixed or Gradient Tint
Grey is a popular tint as it is neutral and allows the eyes to perceive colours in their purest form. Grey tints reduce glare and brightness and are suitable for driving and most outdoor sports.
Green tints reduce glare and filter some blue light offering high contrast and visual sharpness. Green tints are useful in sunny and low light conditions and are perfect for any outdoor activity.
Brown tints reduce glare and block blue light, brightening vision on cloudy days and increasing contrast and visual acuity, especially against green and blue backgrounds such as grass and sky.
Yellow and orange tints increase contrast in hazy or low-light conditions. These tints tend to make objects appear sharper both indoors and outdoors but beware of the colour distortion they may cause. Choose yellow shades for indoor ball sports, target shooting and gaming.
Rosy tints increase contrast by blocking blue light. They have a reputation of being soothing to the eyes and more comfortable than others for longer wear-times. They also help with visibility while driving.
The lens darkness is categorised by the amount of light that the sunglasses block as a percentage.
The most common lens intensity for sunglasses is 85% which means that the lens is allowing only 15% of light through to your eyes. A 25% tint will be a much lighter tint with 75% of light transmission.
Fixed and Gradient Tints
A fixed tint simply means that the lens intensity is the same throughout the lens.
A gradient tint is darker at the top and lighter at the bottom of the lens.
The choice between fixed and gradient lenses may be an aesthetic decision as gradient lenses do have more of a “fashionable” look. Another benefit of gradient lenses is visibility inside the car (your dashboard for example) and improved reading if you have opted for prescription multifocal sunglasses.
Polarised lenses have a special layer that only allows light from certain angles to pass through which eliminates unwanted glare and reflection such as the reflection off water and other surfaces such as roads and windshields. Unfortunately, the technology that blocks this glare can also black out LCD displays at a certain angle such as flight instruments and your mobile device.
Because Polarised lenses block glare and reduce the sun’s reflection off the water, they are widely regarded as the best fishing lenses and boating lenses. They are ideal for driving, as they reduce the impact of horizontal rays of light reflected from the road on bright, sunny days.
The darkness of polarised lenses is not customisable, but some lens designs are available as a gradient polarised lens.
Hard coat – a hardened protective coating gives your sunglasses a life extension. The final outer layer is a tough, scratch-resistant coating that helps prevent scratching and makes cleaning a breeze.
Anti-reflective coat – a popular coating applied to sunglass lenses is a back surface anti-reflective coating. This reduces the reflections on the back surface of your lenses and improves clarity without changing the appearance of the sunglass lenses.
Mirrored Lenses – as well as looking ultra-cool, mirrored coatings reduce the amount of light that passes through your sunglass lenses. They reflect the light away from your eyes which is why they are a popular choice for water sports. As the mirror is traditionally softer sp adding a hardened coating is always recommended.
With all these options, making the right decision can be quite daunting. Our highly trained staff at Mullers Optometrists will guide you in the right direction and will advise you on the right pair of sunglasses according to your needs!
Keep in mind all the lenses options listed are available with prescription!
Contact us or visit one of our branches for advice and questions!