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Sunglasses: More than Just Fashion

Image of man and woman wearing sunglasses.

Sunglasses can make us look awkward or chic, but their real value lies in their ability to protect our eyes. Since damaged eyesight is difficult to correct, choosing the right sunglasses is key to maintaining good vision and eye health. Most optometry clinics have specially trained staff who can help you select a pair that preserves your vision while helping you look your best. For now, here are a few tips on finding sunglasses that protect eye health.

1. Look for UV protection.


Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun damage both the skin and the eye's lens and cornea. As optometrists know all too well, UV exposure has been linked to two medical conditions that degrade your eyesight: cataracts and macular degeneration. In addition, UV light can increase the chances of developing skin cancer and cause premature aging in the form of wrinkles and crow's feet.

For the best protection, choose sunglasses that have a label certifying at least one of the following regarding the lenses:

* Block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB rays
* Meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements
* Offer UV 400 protection

2. Select the right color.


The hue of the lenses doesn't affect UV protection, but it can influence how you perceive colors. Avoid lenses with a yellow or rose tint; these make it hard to read traffic lights. Look for gray, brown or green lenses for minimal color distortion and safer driving.

3. If you love the water, opt for polarized lenses.


Polarized lenses decrease glare from reflected light, so they're great for boaters or folks who spend a lot of time on the road. However, it might be trickier to read a GPS device, cell phone or LCD dashboard display.

4. Check for good quality lenses.

Inexpensive sunglasses can offer the same level of UV protection as higher-end brands, but those with lower price points may have more quality concerns. Whichever end of the spectrum you choose, try on the pair you're considering and focus on a vertical line or edge. Move your head from side to side while keeping your eyes still; your eyes should sweep across the lens. If you see any wiggle in the line, then the lens likely has an optical defect; choose a different pair and repeat the test.

Sources:

American Optometric Association (2013). Sunglasses Shopping Guide.

WebMD (2012). How to Pick Good Sunglasses.

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  • "Wonderful experience! From the moment I walked in, I felt at ease and comfortable. The staff is welcoming, friendly, and personable. I would highly recommend Dr. Huser and her team."
    Kelly R.
  • "I'm always greeted well as soon as I walk in. The wait time is nonexistent, besides there's coffee or water to enjoy before going in (if there is a wait). Plenty of time to check out new frames & of course the glass bowl of Hershey kisses awaits you.Dr.Huser is honest and really cares. I don't ever feel like just another number. The staff all work as a team and you can tell they all love their job. Makes me want to work there."
    Maria E.
  • "Met Dr. Tekell for my annual appointment. She is very personable and professional. So easy to talk to. It was a very good appointment. So glad to see that although Dr. Jackman is not physically here anymore, his staff is continuing his great practice! Sure do miss him!"
    Ruby A.
  • "I have always had a wonderful experience at this location with all of their personnel and with the doctors. I have complete confidence in the accuracy of the exam. The excellent help of the staff ensures that the fit of the frames and of the way the lens sit in the frames is perfect. My previous frames were made with expert precision and durability, and have lasted for the past 4 years with no problems. They were built to last and that is hard to find in this day and age. If I could give a perfect 10 rating, I would."
    Kelly C.
  • "My 1st visit was in 2016 with Dr. Huser. She was terrific: engaged, knowledgeable, excellent communication skills. I later recommended her to my husband, and was even more pleased with the outcome. She diagnosed the source of his chronic eye irritation — relieving us of the fear that it might be a permanent result of surgery he’d had elsewhere — and offered some simple interventions which have actually worked. Saw Dr. Tekell recently when Dr. Huser was out of the office and was similarly impressed. This is a quality practice and they’ve assembled a great team — excellent optometrists, supported by friendly and helpful staff, and opticians who know their stuff, too."
    Kathleen G.
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    Casey S.
  • "I absolutely LOVED the selection of glasses onsite!!! All the latest trends from conservative to super funky and fun! The staff is all very friendly and Dr. Huser's was fabulous! It's so wonderful to have a place like this accessible to Tricare/Military insurance holders."
    Brittney G.
  • "Best eye exam i have ever had. Period. Dr. Huser is AWESOME!"
    Jason M.
  • "Absolutely had the best experience! Jan is a star in my eyes filled with kindness and professionalism. The entire crew was super nice and accommodating to my 86 year old mom and me. I will never go anywhere else to get an eye test, or to get glasses. Thank you for making our day and for going above and beyond my wildest expectations."
    Zahra R.