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How to Select the Best Sunnies for You

Posted on May 5th, 2022

Sunshine season is fast-approaching, which means it’s high-time to treat yourself to a new pair of sunglasses. 

If you’re in the market for shades, you know the shopping process can be stressful, as there are endless styles and shapes to choose from. That being said, selecting sunnies is about more than merely design—it’s important to be mindful of quality. That’s why we’ve compiled a buyer’s checklist of all the things to think about when snapping up your next pair of shades. 

1. Make protection a priority  

While style is no-doubt important, sunglasses serve an essential role in protecting our eyes. If you forgo protection for the sake of style, your sunnies will serve no purpose beyond being a fashion statement. 

A solid pair of sunglasses should provide you with 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Excessive exposure to these harmful rays can cause irreversible damage to your vision health. 

It’s important to note that sunglasses have varying degrees of UV protection, and the best level to look out for is UV 400. When shopping for new shades, seek out a pair that reaches the maximum level of sun protection. Your eyes will thank you later.

2. Pay attention to lens type 

When it comes to sunglasses, lenses are as important as frames. Did you know that there are four main types of sunglass lenses? Understanding the differences between each—and what they can offer your eyes—will enable you to choose the right pair for you.

- Polarized lenses are specifically designed to shield some of the sunlight passing through the lens and minimize glare and eyestrain. They have a chemical solution applied to them that filters light, thereby reducing the glare that is reflected off surfaces like water or snow. Polarized lenses make images appear crisper, too, and they are especially beloved by those with light sensitivities. Polarized sunglasses are an excellent pick for everyday life, but they are especially useful during certain activities—such as fishing, boating, golfing, or skiing—where glare is typically greater.

- Photochromatic lenses are ideal if you are a perpetual glasses-wearer. The lenses automatically darken when stepping outdoors, which means you only need one pair of glasses for vision clarity and dodging sunlight. The light-adaptive lenses are clear indoors, but when exposed to sunlight, molecules in the lenses become activated by the sun’s rays and automatically darken. Photochromic lenses are widely available, and they are a stellar choice for those who wear prescription glasses on a daily basis.

- Anti-reflective lenses can actually be added to photochromatic lenses to further protect your eyes and mitigate irritating glare, while also making images appear sharper. Generally, anti-reflective lenses work to eliminate eye strain by reducing glare and reflections. Anti-reflective lenses contain a coating which protects the lenses from scratches and scuffs, and damage caused from dust and other debris. Anti-reflective lenses are particularly important when engaging in water and snow sports, due to the ample light reflection on surfaces. 

- Blue lenses have become popular for their ability to mitigate eye strain induced by blue light sources—such as smartphones, computer screens, televisions, and the sun. In conjunction with staving off eye strain, blue lenses also improve visual clarity and comfort. 

- Polycarbonate lenses are shatter-resistant, making them the prime sunglasses choice for adults who are especially active, or children, who are generally more clumsy. They are composed of a type of plastic that is thinner and lighter than typical lenses, and they also offer 100% UV protection. 

3. Size matters 

Just as the type of lens is important when shopping for sunglasses, the size of them is worth considering, too. As a general rule, the larger the lens, the more coverage and protection your eyes will get from wearing them. Side shields can also be important, particularly if you are engaging in potentially dangerous activities, where debris or small, sharp particles could fly into your eye (like cycling). Some glasses come with side shields, though they can also be purchased separately and attached to a pair of frames for more versatility.

4. Frame material 

Sunglasses—particularly high-quality ones—can be quite costly, so it’s wise to choose a sturdy, long-lasting material that will offer you years of wear and protection. People have their own preferences in terms of lightweight versus heavier glasses, which all comes down to the material the frames are composed of. 

Generally speaking, glasses frames are divided into three main categories: metal, plastic, and rimless. Each material has its pros and cons, but metal frames are typically the most durable and corrosion-resistant.

That being said, they can be pricier, which is why plastic frames are the most popular choice among consumers. Like metal frames, they are lightweight, and they also come in a variety of shades, shapes and styles. 

Finally, rimless glasses (or drilled frames) are notably lightweight, though not as common or accessible in a variety of styles. 

5. Take trends into account 

While we wholeheartedly believe protection level should outweigh trendiness when selecting sunglasses, style still matters. Of course, everyone’s taste is subjective, and there’s no one-size-fits-all for sunglass style. 

Still, sunglasses can get costly (particularly designer ones), so it’s worth taking trends into account when investing in a new pair of shades that you hope to wear for several seasons. 

Versatility is an important thing to consider when choosing a style, as you’ll want to be sure the sunglasses go well with various outfits and settings. 

The five biggest trends we’re forecasting for the spring and summer months include: 

- Cat-eye silhouettes: This sophisticated shape truly never goes out of style, and will give you a timeless look you’ll love for years to come. 

- Oversized square: If you’re in search of a way to wear larger lenses without forgoing fashion, try some oversized square frames. They’re dramatic and bold yet sporty and modern.

- Colourful lenses: We could all use some more colour in our lives, and what better way to incorporate bright shades than in our sunglass lenses? Blue, yellow, orange and red lenses have become widely popular, with either matching or contrasting frames. 

- Gradient lenses: Speaking of funky lenses, gradient lenses have also stolen the sunglass spotlight. If you’re not feeling bold enough to go for a brightly-coloured lens, try an ombre, lighter-tint lens that will elevate your look. 

- Statement shapes: Although you can’t go wrong with classic round or square sunglasses, why not spice it up with a fun new shape? From heart-shaped frames to chunky, geometric designs, there are countless statement sunglass shapes to choose from.

Regardless of your personal style, at FYidoctors, we truly have something for everyone. Our wide range of sunglass offerings will surely suit your fancy. Come find a stellar pair of sunglasses online or at an FYidoctors clinic near you!