The key to buying sunglasses in today’s world should consist of two major considerations: health issues and fashion. Purchasing new sunglasses for reasons that don’t pacify both of those issues is like throwing money out of the window, since you will not use those sunglasses as much as you should, or would if they met both criteria. Trust me on this. In today’s world, even celebrities, newscasters, and sportscasters choose sunglasses based on both of these criteria.
From a health perspective, you need to get sunglasses that are healthy. That means that the tint and the polarized glass must not trade the distortion of color and decreased contrast for less visual clarity. To be useful as well as functional, good sunglasses need to shield your eyes from the brightness via shading or reduced contrast, but must not overly reduce visual clarity in the process, this is not an equal tradeoff.
From another health perspective, it has been known for many years that consistent exposure to the sun’s UV rays can be harmful. Your sunglasses should protect you from those UV rays via the polarized lenses, as well as a more recently discovered danger known as HEVL or High Energy Visible Light.
Both of these issues are particularly important for people who depend on visual clarity to do what they must do or need to do, perhaps as part of their job or as a part of a recreational activity. Think about the airline pilot whose eyes may be in sunlight for the entire duration of a flight. Think about the truck driver who may be driving west late in the day, and looking into the sun for the majority of his travels. Think about the recreational skier or snow-boarder who is addition to the normal hazards of sunlight is also faced with the additional hazard of “snow blindness” where the bright sunlight is reflected off the white snow that he is surrounded by. All of these types of people know how important it is to adequately protect your eyes, and this importance is not decreased even if you do not spend as much time in sunlight as they do.
Studies have also shown that when you are using your eyes constantly as part of a concentrated effort to what you are doing, such as when driving in heavy traffic or skiing, it takes a tremendous amount of energy from your body to keep processing the massive amounts of information that your eyes are sending to your brain. For this reason also, good sunglasses will allow your eyes to do their job better without using more energy that you need to.
From a fashion standpoint, choosing sunglasses that are “good for you” does not mean that the sunglasses need to look like the glasses equivalent of orthopedic shoes, not at all. Sunglasses that meet the protection and health criteria above are readily available from the major fashion sunglasses and designer sunglasses manufacturers, including designers such as Oakley, Serengetti, RayBan, Maui Jim, Wiley, Bolle and more. In fact, some of the higher-end choices you have in these designer sunglasses also have additional features such as built-in Bluetooth so that you can use your MP3 player or your cell phone without taking off your sunglasses.