Sunglasses have been around since the 12th century in China, and it seems that they have historically always been used for protection. However, that protection wasn’t always from the sun. The flat panes of smoky quartz worn at that time were intended to guard against glare, evil spirits, and prying eyes. Documents show that judges in Chinese courts would wear sunglasses to hide their facial expressions while they questioned witnesses.
Today, sunglasses are popular for many other reasons, though they seem most common as fashion accessories. Mens’ shades sell on eBay every 90 seconds, often purchased because of the influence of celebrity culture. Icons like Elton John, who has more than 1,000 pairs, the Blues Brothers, who wore Ray-Ban Wayfarers, and the characters of The Matrix are all known for their sunglasses.
Indeed, fashion seems to be the main drive for the purchase of sunglasses, and though protection from evil spirits is not necessarily a good reason to buy shades, there are other protections they can offer that are worth consideration. A commonly asked question is about how polarized lenses filter UV rays, and it’s questions like that one that demonstrate how little most sunglass purchasers know about eye protection. How polarized lenses filter UV rays is like this: they don’t. Let’s take a look at what you really can do to protect your eyes from harmful rays.
Does UV Protection Really Matter?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. UV radiation can damage the skin of your eyelid, your cornea, your lens, and other parts of the eye as well as contribute to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, and that’s no good.
How Can I Protect My Eyes?
Look for UV-protection details on product labels. They should block between 99 and 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Other factors helping block UV rays are color, degree of darkness, wraparound style, close fit, and lens width.
Aren’t There Any Fashionable Frames with UV Protection?
Big wraparound glasses might not be your thing, and that’s okay. If you’re really jonesing for a pair with great frames but that doesn’t block UV rays, you still have options. Replacing sunglass lenses is not all that difficult. Look for replacement lenses for sunglasses that offer UV protection from a sunglass lens replacement dealer. Sometimes they’ll replace sunglass lenses for you, or sometimes they’ll send you the lenses to do the replacement yourself. While you’re at it, it might be wise to consider polarized, blue-blocking, photochromic, polycarbonate, mirror-coated, or gradient lenses.
Hopefully that’s set the record straight. Let’s review:
- Is UV protection important? You betcha!
- Can you explain how polarized lenses filter UV rays? No you can’t, because they don’t.
- How can you protect against UV rays? Buy a pair that do the job.
- What if you’re fashion conscious? No excuse. Replace your lenses.
There’s no good reason not to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Make it a priority. You’ll be glad you did. See this link for more references: www.thesunglassfix.com