With the days getting brighter, many of us are starting to bring out our sunglasses to make the most of the sun without the strain on our eyes. The problem is that not all sunglasses offer the same level of protection, so although they may make an excellent fashion accessory and complement your appearance, they don’t prevent the potential damage to your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

It’s commonly known that the invisible ultraviolet rays contained in sunlight are dangerous. UVA and UVB rays are a form of radiation that can lead to sunburn if the right level of protection is not worn. In recent years, there has been a lot of publicity about the dangers of UV light on your skin and as a result, many people choose to wear strong sunscreen when the weather is sunny.

Events such as Sun Awareness Week (which runs from the 9th May- 16th of May 2016) take place every year, with a focus on raising awareness of the dangers of the sun and the links between sun damage and skin cancer. What a large number of people don’t realise is that high levels of UVA and UVB rays can contribute to poorer eyesight as we get older, as well as the development of cataracts.

Our eyes are actually as much as 10 times more sensitive to the effects of sun radiation than our skin, so wearing UV protective sunglasses is extremely important.

Choosing safe sunglasses

When choosing your sunglasses, first and foremost, it’s vital to make sure they offer the right level of protection. Whilst some cheaper sunglasses can look great, it’s likely that they won’t have the full level of UV protection, so you are always best off investing in a pair of high quality sunglasses. When choosing your sunglasses, as well as picking out your favourite style, be sure to remember these tips:

  • Make sure they have 100% UVA and UVB protection – sunglasses with the full level of UV protection help to prevent damage to your eyes as a result of extended exposure to sunlight.
  • Darker lenses don’t offer more protection – even though darkly tinted sunglasses can help you to see better when the weather is especially sunny, they can actually put you more at risk of damage. Dark lenses allow your pupils to open up fully, which means that without 100% protection, more UVA and UVB rays will be able to reach the back of your eyes.
Choosing the right sunglasses for your face

Once you have found sunglasses that provide full protection, it’s time to choose a pair that best suit the shape of your face. This can be more difficult than it sounds, as the styles that you like best may not be the best fit for you.

  • Heart shaped face – if you have a heart shaped face, with a narrow chin and wide cheekbones, aviators or cat eye sunglasses are the best styles for you.
  • Oval face – if you have an oval shaped face, with a rounded chin, you are blessed with having many choices when it comes to choosing sunglasses. Whilst most styles will suit you, it’s important to choose frames of the right width. Ideally there should be a gap on either side of your temples.
  • Square face – if you have a square face, with angular features and a strong jaw, circular frames help to provide a more balance look. In contrast, you should avoid frames with hard shapes as these can exaggerate the squareness of your face.

At Optimum Vision Clinic, we are committed to promoting the importance of eye protection and all of our sunglasses are fully UV protected and comply with EU quality standards for protection. If you need assistance choosing the right sunglasses for you, please feel free to call us on 0118 981 0267 to book an appointment or visit our store.