How to Choose a Pair of Sunglasses

How to Choose a Pair of Sunglasses
Not all sunglasses are created equal and it is important to choose them carefully, especially if you spend lots of time outdoors or you need them for a special purpose, such as biking, hiking or skiing. Sunglasses are as important as sunscreen when it comes to protecting yourself. Choosing a pair that doesn't fit or look right cannot only go against your sense of style but it can also cause damage to your eyes.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Look for a shape that compliments your face. The three traditional shapes are round, square and teardrop (also known as traditional aviators). In general, the most flattering shape is the one opposite to the shape of your face. For example, people with round faces should choose square glasses. Aviator sunglasses tend to soften lines, so they're a good choice for those with square jawlines.
Step 2
Search for sunglasses that bear a seal from the American Optometric Association, which indicates that the sunglasses offer at least 90 percent protection against UV rays. If no seal is present, read the labels. You are looking for a pair of sunglasses where the tint blocks at least 60 percent of the light reaching the eye.
Step 3
Weigh the pros and cons of different materials against the use you intend to give the sunglasses. For example, glass and polycarbonate lenses offer superior clarity and scratch resistance. If you need to see very clearly to perform a sport or outdoor activity, these are the ones for you. Acrylic and plastic lenses, on the other hand, are inexpensive but can cause some image distortion.
Step 4
Choose a lens color that matches the intended use. Brown, green and gray lenses are best for bright conditions, where cutting down on glare is essential. Yellow is best if you plan on using the sunglasses in lower-light conditions, such as indoors. They also provide some of the best depth perception of any glasses, which is why they are popular among skiers. Rose-colored glasses enhance contrast and are a good choice for driving or spending time outdoors, be it skiing or hiking.
Step 5
Consider both comfort and durability when selecting your sunglasses. Plastic tends to break easily and have no flexibility, while metal adjusts better to the shape of your face, lasts longer and doesn't break easily.
Step 6
Make sure the sunglasses fit properly. They should feel snug but not cause pain behind the ears or on your nose. There should not be any contact between your eyes and the lenses. If your eyelashes touch the lenses or frame, the pair is too small for you.

Article Written By Sarah Dray

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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