The importance of wearing sunglasses
Good quality sunglasses eliminate solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), in particular the more-damaging UVB radiation. UV rays from sunlight can damage the retina and the lens of the eye. Long term exposure to UVR is linked to conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
As the eye cannot see UVR, sunglasses have an important function in blocking UVR. Wearing cheap sunglasses with no UV filters poses an even greater danger than wearing none at all because the pupils will dilate allowing more harmful rays into the eye. Good quality sunglasses filter out both UVA and UVB rays, the latter responsible for causing sunburn and eye tissue damage with prolonged, unprotected exposure.
Good quality sunglasses will be UV400 rated providing the maximum protection from harmful UVR (and necessary also to attain a CE Mark). All the sunglasses and eyewear we sell meet this standard.
Skiing, walking or climbing at high altitude
For anyone going skiing, walking or climbing at high altitude it’s essential to wear good quality sunglasses or goggles because on mountains the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays are easily underestimated, with a high risk of sunburn and ultimately skin cancer and eye cataracts. Because mountain air is cool, it gives a false sense of security about the sunlight. But the higher the altitude, the greater the ultraviolet (UV) radiation because there is less atmosphere to screen out harmful rays. A study by Japanese scientists revealed that eyes can receive up to 2.5 times more UV on mountains than at sea level. Even when the eyes are turned away from the sun, they can still get over 85 per cent more UV on snow. This can cause conditions such as snow blindness, which can lead to inflammation and cataracts.
Lens colours and their use
The most popular lens colour. It reduces all light equally, does not increase contrast or alter the colour of objects and is best used in bright and sunny weather.
‘Smoke’ is the lens colour typically used as the base colour when a mirror finish is applied to the lens. It is similar to grey but can have a brown or blue hue.
Amber and Brown
Popular colours that increase contrast (field of vision will appear sharper), they provide a warm appearance and work well where judging distance is important (like golf). They are good for most weather / light conditions.
A light enhancing colour – good for low visibility, dark, hazy and cloudy conditions. Also helps when driving at night. Provide exceptional contrast and enhanced depth perception. Not suitable in strong sun or high glare conditions.
Are all polarised lenses the same?
Polarised lenses are different to standard sunglass lenses; they have a special film which helps eliminate glare reflected off a surface like a pavement, road, water or snow. One of the questions we are often asked is “Do all polarised sunglasses stop glare?” The simple answer is yes. However, there is a difference between a £20 pair of polarised sunglasses and a £60+ pair. On lower cost polarised sunglasses, the polarised film is applied to the front of the lens. In time, this can scratch and wear down meaning the sunglass will lose some of its anti-glare effectiveness. You can of course prolong the life the polarised lens by always ensuring your sunglasses are kept in a pouch or case when not in use. On the more expensive polarised sunglasses the polarising film will be sandwiched between two other layers (usually polycarbonate) meaning the film can never wear out or lose its effectiveness.
On less expensive polarised sunglasses, the lens material used is likely to be TAC which is typically 1mm or 1.2mm in thickness. This means they should not be used where impact protection is required such as field sports. On the higher priced polarised the lens material is likely to be polycarbonate and a polarised polycarbonate lens also provides impact protection.