Sunglasses come in a variety of qualities and styles and, while many are purchased only for fashion, their original intent is to protect the eyes from the sun. Women who want to protect their eyes can choose from a range of sunglasses offering UV and light protection. Most women know that the sun can cause aging and skin damage, but fewer of them know that the sun can also harm the eyes and has been linked to long-term macular degeneration, photokeratitis or sunburn of the eye, and retinal damage.
Most studies suggest that women should wear sunglasses frequently, even if they aren’t wearing them for fashion. Although high-quality sunglasses are preferred, even a low-quality pair of sunglasses can do a great deal to prevent sun damage to the eyes. It is therefore important to know how to protect your eyes from risks related to sun exposure as well as how to choose and purchase sunglasses that can protect your eyes from the sun.
The Effects of UV Radiation on the Eyes
Ultraviolet radiation or UV is present in sun rays, both on sunny days and on partially cloudy ones. While UV light is more common in warmer areas, it affects everyone. Most people are aware of the fact that UV and high energy visible light (HEV) can cause skin cancer, sunburn, aging, and other problems, but less are aware that the same UV light can damage the eyes just as badly.
Experts suggest that women can choose sunglasses to block all UV radiation and most HEV rays as well. This is because the more light that is blocked from the eyes, the better the eyes are protected. Various types of UV rays that should be blocked include UVC, UVB, and UVA rays. UVC rays are the highest energy UV rays, and are the most harmful, but least common. UVB rays are the same rays that induce melanin production in the skin, causing a tan, but in higher doses can burn the eyes and the skin or can cause skin cancer. Short, high doses of UVB rays have also been linked with photokeratitis, which is also known as snow blindness and can result in the loss of vision for up to 48 hours.
UVA rays are usually considered the least dangerous, but studies have shown that overexposure can cause cataracts and even increase the risk of macular degeneration. HEV rays are visible blue light, and are not usually considered extremely dangerous. However, over long-term exposure, they have been proven to cause retinal damage, as well as increase the possibility of macular degeneration, especially in women with low vitamin C levels.
Sunglasses That Block the Most Light
Choosing the right pair of sunglasses to protect the eyes from the sun is important for your health. While sunglasses are quite popular for purely aesthetic reasons, they are also recommended for protecting the eyes from harmful light rays, no matter what the time of year. Women are suggested to choose from high UV protection glasses, which may cost more, but offer more protection from eye-damaging light. The following styles are the ones that work best to protect the eyes from the sun.
100 Per Cent UV Protection Sunglasses
High-quality glasses that claim to offer 100 per cent UV protection are most likely an excellent choice for protecting the eyes from the sun. Women can check the label to read which glasses offer this protection. It is important to consider that any sunglasses offering a ‘prescription’ UV protection are most likely of much higher quality than cheaper options, but the cheaper options might still offer some protection for the eyes. However, just because a pair of sunglasses is expensive, it does not guarantee full protection from the UV rays; it may be expensive just because it was made from a famous designer. Some studies even show that some cheaper ones sometimes offer more protection than high-quality designer sunglasses.
Polarised glasses offer glare reduction to the wearer, but can reduce some exposure to UV and HEV light radiation as well. Women who choose polarised glasses can rely on some harmful light to be blocked out, as well as any glare that might result from nearby water, computer or television screens, mobiles or tablets, or even especially bright sun. These types of glasses reduce the amount of UVB light rays that can access the eye cataract, therefore lowering the risk of photokeratitis.
Mirrored glasses in a light colour cannot protect the eyes from the sun; however, those in a darker colour can help to reflect harmful UV and HEV rays away from the eyes, rather than allowing them to be absorbed. While the amount of protection is much lower than that given by standard sunglasses, mirrored sunglasses do help to some small extent. Women can choose mirrored sunglasses in classic and popular styles, as wraparounds, or full-coverage sunglasses.
Wraparound sunglasses are least commonly found in women’s fashion, but offer a great deal of protection from the sun because they fully cover the eyes from all directions. Women can choose a larger pair to avoid a ‘sci-fi’ look, or can simply choose a pair to wear casually and decide on another style for fashionable wear. Wraparounds are often available in dark colours, with mirrored and polarised finishes, as well as 100 per cent UV protection.
Large Frame Sunglasses
Large frame sunglasses have been stylish since the 1940s and are still popular in fashion today. For women who want to protect their eyes without sacrificing fashion, large frame or oversized sunglasses are usually considered to be good choices. Because of the large size, and often ‘wing’ style wraparounds, these sunglasses protect the eyes from more light than a standard pair of aviator or circle sunglasses would. They are also very flattering to many face shapes, suitable for several different fashion styles, and available in a wide variety of price and quality ranges.
Dark Glass or Plastic Sunglasses
Dark glass or plastic lenses protect the eyes better than light lenses do. This is because dark sunglasses absorb more UV rays and prevent them from reaching the eyes, and reflect more HEV rays as well. However, it’s important to consider that, if the lenses are too dark, they can block too much natural blue light which can affect the colours that you perceive. This can interfere with driving and sometimes with depth perception.
Tips for Choosing Sunglasses to Protect Your Eyes
Not all sunglasses protect the eyes from the sun, but unfortunately most of the time there is no way to tell which options offer 100 per cent UV protection and which don’t. Most countries require sunglass manufacturers to correctly list the UV protection and features of the sunglasses on the label or in the product’s accompanying documentation, meaning that the correct information should be listed. However, the only 100 per cent guaranteed method of checking the quality of sunglasses is to take them to an optician or eye doctor who can test them for effectiveness. Darker-coloured lenses can help with UV protection, but may not absorb all of it. Most UV protection from glasses comes from a clear chemical coating applied to the outside of the lenses.
Despite popular opinion, higher price tags are not indicative of more UV protection. In fact, tests comparing cheap sunglasses to designer sunglasses sometimes show the cheaper options winning in area of UV protection. However, there are many exceptions to the rule. Always read labels or descriptions before making a purchase. Choose sports sunglasses to wear when you practise outdoor activities such as running, biking, or skiing. For swimming or water activities, choose a pair of swimming glasses that offer UV protection as well. These can protect your eyes, even when you’re more concerned with being able to see clearly.
There are many shades of sunglasses available including yellow, orange, rose, pink, red, amber, copper, brown, green, and grey. Sometimes variations are available including purple, almost black shades, and even silver. Usually, grey and brown tints offer the most UV and light protection, while lighter colours of sunglasses offer more contrast in vision, usually for use in sports.
Buying Sunglasses That Will Protect Your Eyes on eBay
Sunglasses, including those that protect the eyes from harmful light rays, can be found on eBay. Women can purchase anything from top-quality designer brands to cheaper options. Important considerations include reading the description to ensure that the sunglasses can protect your eyes, checking the shipping to make sure that it ships to your area, and in the case of designer brands, checking to make sure it isn’t a restricted or taxed import, in which case you may have to pay custom fees upon the arrival of your glasses.
Start on the home page of eBay and search for ‘women’s UV sunglasses’ if you want to browse, or for something more specific such as ‘women’s Gucci UV sunglasses’ or ‘women’s UV oversized sunglasses’. Searching specifically for UV sunglasses ensures that you are getting UV protection, but since not all UV sunglasses are labelled as such, you can consider other search terms if you cannot find what you are looking for.
Sunglasses are fashionable, cool, and usually comfortable, but they can also be important for health reasons. Various types of UV light as well as HEV light can damage the eyes, causing sunburn, increasing the risk of macular degeneration, photokeratitis, and even cataracts. Women should choose sunglasses that are designed to protect their eyes from these harmful rays of light, rather than simply choosing lenses for fashion purposes.
Sunglasses should be labelled to protect the eyes from 99 to 100 per cent of UV rays, and should be in a large or wide style to protect the eyes as much as possible from the sun. Another important consideration is that the sunglasses should fit well to the face and prevent as much sun as possible from streaming around the outer edges of the glasses. Women can use the information in this guide to make an informed decision before purchasing sunglasses in shops, online stores, or on eBay.