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Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses

Sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory. Here's why both adults and children should wear them and what you should look for in a pair.

sunglasses

There’s no denying that shades are an integral part of summer fashion. But sunglasses aren’t just lenses that make you look incredibly cool during the warm-weather months. They can be eye savers in all seasons.

Why Wear Sunglasses?

Most people are aware that the sun’s ultraviolet rays can be harmful, though many don’t realize the negative impacts they can have on unprotected eyes. Just like your skin, UV rays can cause sunburn on the cornea of your eyes, which may lead to blurred vision, redness and irritation. If untreated, these symptoms can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. A quality pair of sunglasses can help defend against these potentially harmful rays.

When purchasing sunglasses, there’s a bit more to consider than what looks cool. First, make sure they provide 99 to 100% protection from UV rays, either with  a UV coating or polycarbonate lenses with built-in UV coverage. Plus, the bigger the lenses, the better. Big lenses provide extra protection by blocking the rays coming in from the side.

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New Exclusive Offer at LensCrafters®*

Show your AAA card and save 50% off lenses with a complete pair purchase.

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Types of Lenses

If you’re looking to avoid intense glare from smooth water, snow or flat roads, polarized lenses are your best option. Not only can they reduce glare, but they can also make images appear sharper and clearer, increasing visual clarity and comfort. For those with light-sensitivity, having polarized lenses can help with adjusting to outdoor lighting. Photochromic lenses or light-adaptive lenses also help with reducing UV ray impact by changing from clear to dark when exposed to any amount of UV rays.

Lens Color

While the color of the lens tint doesn’t have a huge impact on how effective sunglasses are, some can optimize the way you see, which can be particularly helpful for activities like driving or playing sports.

Gray is a popular neutral tint; it allows the eyes to see colors in their purest form by reducing brightness and glare, and is best for driving and participating in outdoor sports.

Yellow/orange lens color increases contrast in hazy, foggy or low-light conditions, making it ideal for playing around in the snow or participating in indoor ball sports.

Green lenses filter some blue light, reduce glare and offer high contrast and visual sharpness. Shades of green can also reduce bright light-induced eyestrain, which is good for precision sports like tennis, baseball and golf.

Amber/brown reduces glare and blocks blue light, which brightens vision on cloudy days. It increases contrast and depth perception, particularly against green and blue backgrounds. Perfect for sports that require distance judgment, such as baseball.

Blue/purple reduces glare, improves color perception and can help to see contours.

Rose/red increases contrast by blocking blue light. It also tends to be more soothing comfortable than other tint colors for longer wear-times.

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Why Should Kids Wear Sunglasses?

It’s even more crucial for kids to wear sunglasses. They spend more time outdoors than many adults, so they’re more exposed to UV rays. According to the World Health Organization, up to 80 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV is received before the age of 18. Additionally, the lens inside a child’s eye is able to block less UV rays than an adult’s, which means more harmful radiation can find its way in. Children under the age of 10 are at the highest risk for skin and eye damage, since the skin on their eyelids and around their eyes is more delicate than an adult’s.

Recommended Frame Types

Those fun and cheap sunglasses you might get as prizes for playing games during a festival, for example? They generally don’t come close to protecting the eyes from UV rays.

The frames for kids’ sunglasses should also not have sharp edges or be easily breakable. High-quality spectacle lenses are a must.

Most importantly, involve your kids when picking out their sunglasses. Not only will they be able to tell you whether the sunglasses are too tight or uncomfortable, but they will be happier with the designs they pick and want to wear them more. As a precaution, though, you may want to consult your optician for the best frames.

Recommended Lens Type

For kids’ sunglasses, high-quality polycarbonate lenses are recommended. They automatically block 100% UV rays without needing special lens coatings, tints or treatments. In addition, all poly-type lenses are lighter than regular plastic lenses, so they are scratch-resistant. They can provide up to ten times more impact resistance for greater comfort and eye safety, especially while the wearer plays sports or any other sort of active play.

Look for features such as flexible spring hinges that allow the sunglasses to fit snugly on the head and decrease the chances of them falling off or breaking from impact.

Do you have a favorite type of sunglasses? Let us know in the comments! 

AAA members can save 30% on non-prescription sunglasses with LensCrafters.*

*Save 30% off non-prescription sunglasses with your AAA membership. Valid on multiple pairs. Valid AAA Membership required. AAA Vision Discounts are administered by EyeMed Vision Care (EyeMed). These are not insurance programs and may be discontinued at any time. Cannot be combined with other discounts or vision care, previous purchases, or readers. Some brands excluded including Cartier frames. Discounts are off tag prices. No cash value. Void where prohibited by law. Additional restrictions may apply. See store associate for details. Offer expires 12/31/2019.
See AAA.com/LensCrafters for all offers and full terms and conditions.
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