A complete sunglasses guide with all the information you need on sunglass wear for eye protection:
Plus a comprehensive review of all the different sunglass brands.
Why are sunglasses so popular? Simple!
Sunglasses are like hair or shoes – they are NOT a gratuitous accessory, but something you MUST have.
(OK, maybe you don’t agree with the “MUST”. But please think about it. We are talking about protecting a vulnerable but essential organ. Sunglasses guard against UV damage and debris, grit, foreign objects, and so forth.)
So – if we MUST wear them for protection anyway, surely the fashion dimension – that ability to flatter any face and figure and turn ANYONE instantly uber-cool – can only be considered a fabulous added bonus.
In other words, what’s not to like?
Is it important to use sunglasses?
Sunglasses were were designed to protect and prevent the eyes from getting damaged by the sun’s bright light and other high energy visible light. They sometimes function as a visual aid, as some people are uncomfortable with bright sunlight when outdoors.
The use of sunglasses for eye protection dates back to prehistoric times. In fact, the Inuit people (aboriginal people from Canada) wore custom-made ivory snow glasses with narrow slits to reduce their eyes’ exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. But since the prehistoric times, sunglasses have evolved and have become much more than just protective eyewear.
As noted earlier, sunglasses have become a staple for fashion. And it was during the mid 18th century that a more modern type with tinted glasses of green, yellow and blue were invented by James Ayscough, an English optician.
Modern sunglasses with different color lenses and frame designs first became popular in the early 1900s, when celebrities used this form of eyewear to conceal their identities when outdoors or to hide red eyes that have been too exposed to arc lamps that were necessary in producing films.
Since then, many types of sunglasses were created for eye protection as well as for fashion purposes.
But aside from fashion trends, sunglasses have been found useful for other things too – for sports, trips to space, for casual reasons such as hiding emotions, eye abnormality or visual impairment. They have been thoroughly developed to become more efficient in protecting the eyes, especially from ultraviolet radiation.
UV rays from the sun are harmful and can cause short or long-term eye problems such as photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea), snow blindness, cataracts, pterygium (surfer’s eye) and other forms of eye cancer, which is why medical experts strongly advice the public on the importance of wearing sunglasses – especially for those who stay outdoors regularly.
Today, there are more than a dozen types of sunglasses to choose from that are created based on three standards – Australian, European and US. These are safety standards that rate the efficiency and effectiveness of sunglasses against UV radiation.
To get the best eye protection, it is essential to seek professional advice on which to get for certain conditions and situations. Take note that expensive brands aren’t necessarily better than generics, so price shouldn’t be used as an indicator of quality.
Despite being popularly known as a fashion accessory, it is comforting to know that sunglasses still serve their ultimate purpose – that is, protecting and preventing the eyes from possible damage. So yes, sunglasses are important.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your sunglasses. See the Sunglasses Guide below for the perfect mixture of function and fashion.
Post Lasik Sunglasses Guide
After laser eye surgery it is not uncommon to find problems with increased light sensitivity and difficulties with vision on bright sunny days.
Browse our guide to find advice on choosing the correct sun protection for your eyes and find information on all the popular fashion brands of designer sunglasses.