The use of sunglasses is primarily a health issue: ultraviolet rays adversely affect the retina, cornea and lens and can cause burns, decreased visual acuity, cataracts and other ophthalmic pathologies.
Beauticians also strongly recommend wearing a useful accessory to avoid wrinkles around the eyes, due to the fact that:
- from the bright light you have to squint, and as a result mimic folds are formed,
- under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, the production of collagen and elastin, the substances responsible for the condition of the skin, decreases, if the amount of the epidermis is insufficient, the condition of the epidermis worsens and the risk of wrinkles increases.
The "bonus" of using sunglasses is a stylish, bright image, and for girls it is also an opportunity to look spectacular without makeup in the heat.
However, in order to protect the accessory and eyes, and transform the appearance, you need to responsibly approach his choice.
When using low-quality glasses, in the best case, the eyes do not receive proper protection, in the worst - overwork and receive an increased dose of ultraviolet radiation.
By destination, sunglasses can be divided into 4 categories:
- For relaxation, for walking along the street. Such glasses are very diverse in design and can be of any shape, there are no special requirements for them, in addition to UV protection, comfortable wear and a stylish appearance.
- For Sport. Usually they have a frame close to the face, they are distinguished by increased strength and have polarizing lenses. As a rule, large to protect the face and eyes from injuries.
- For vision correction. For people with visual impairments, there are sunglasses with diopters that are selected with the help of an ophthalmologist. Usually their lenses with a gradient or polaroid coating and are darkened by 20-180%. They pass the right amount of light, but reflect ultraviolet light, without violating the proportions of the objects in question.
- For special conditions (driving a motorcycle, car, boat or yacht, hiking in the mountains and desert). Such glasses should provide protection against glare, bright flashes and strong UV radiation.
The lenses of modern glasses are made of either glass or plastic. The table below shows the advantages and disadvantages of each of them, while it is worth considering that the information is given taking into account that the material of the lenses is of high quality.
Table: the pros and cons of lenses from different materials
|Plastic (acrylic, polycarbonate, polymer, trivex, NXT polyurethane)|
Ultraviolet radiation is divided into 3 types:
- UVC - delayed by the ozone layer of the atmosphere,
- UVB - rays with a wavelength of 290-320 nm, adversely affect the cornea,
- UVA - rays with a wavelength of 320-420 nm, adversely affect the retina and lens.
Any sunglasses should provide high-quality protection from the rays of A- and B-spectra. The marking “100% UV 400 protection” means that the lenses block radiation equal to or less than 400 nm, that is, the rays of both spectra fall into this range. This is also evidenced by the inscriptions: “UV 400” or “100% UVA UVB 400”.
To check the degree of protection, you need to shine on any fluorescent object (headphones, sticker, felt-tip pen, cap from a pen, etc.) through the lens of glasses with a UV flashlight. The less the subject will glow, the stronger the protection of the glasses.
Is it worth protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light?
To understand whether it is worth protecting the eyes from exposure to sunlight, you need to understand their types, the nature of the appearance and the effect on the human organs of vision. Up to 40% of the radiation is visible and allows us to distinguish between colors. About 50% of the sun's rays are infrared. They allow you to feel the heat. And finally, 10% of the sun's rays are ultraviolet radiation, invisible to human eyes. According to the wavelength, it is divided into several subcategories (long-wave - UVA, medium-wave - UVB, and short-wave - UVC).
Types of ultraviolet radiation:
- UVA - is in the range of 400-315 nm. Mostly reaches the surface of the earth,
- UVB - is in the range of 315-280 nm. Mostly delayed by the atmosphere, but partially reaches the Earth’s surface,
- UVC - is in the range of 280-100 nm. Almost does not reach the Earth's surface (delayed by the ozone layer).
Do I need glasses to protect my eyes from UV rays?
Ophthalmologists claim that in moderate amounts, ultraviolet light is useful for the body, since it helps strengthen immunity, increase the tone of the body and even improve mood. Under the influence of UV rays in the eye, metabolism and blood circulation are stimulated, and muscle function is also improved. In addition, vitamin D is formed in the body, which strengthens the musculoskeletal system, and histamine is produced - a substance with a vasodilating effect.
However, with intense exposure, ultraviolet rays have a detrimental effect on the body, including the organs of vision. The lens picks up long-wave UV radiation, gradually losing transparency and acquiring a yellowish tint. Experts recommend paying due attention to protecting the eyes from ultraviolet radiation, since clouding of the lens leads to the development of such a serious disease as cataracts. In 50% of cases, in the absence of timely treatment, this eye disease is the cause of blindness. The mucous membrane of the eye and the cornea absorb medium-wave ultraviolet radiation (UVB), which can significantly damage their structure under intense exposure. The use of sunscreen accessories avoids this problem.
In order to competently approach the purchase, you need to decide what should be the protection of sunglasses from UV rays. This factor should be given priority when purchasing these products.
Why it is worth protecting your eyes from intense ultraviolet radiation:
- The lens picks up long-wave UV radiation, gradually losing transparency and acquiring a yellowish tint. This can lead to cataracts,
- The cornea absorbs medium-wave ultraviolet radiation (UVB), losing its optical properties.
What should be the protection of sunglasses?
Many do not know how to determine the degree of protection of sunglasses and mistakenly believe that the darker the lenses, the better they block UV rays. However, it is not. Transparent lenses can absorb harmful radiation as well as dark ones if they are coated with a special coating. Moreover, the pupil under dark lenses expands, therefore, in the absence of a filter, ultraviolet rays are easily absorbed by the lens.
Products from world-famous brands without fail have a special marking that characterizes the degree of protection. The optics with the mark “UV400” are considered the highest quality. It filters up to 99% of the UVA category with a wavelength of up to 400 nm. However, it should be borne in mind that with the systematic wearing of such glasses in the summer, a “mask” forms on the face, since the skin around the eyes does not tan. Much more common are products marked with UV 380, filtering only 95% of UV rays. Inexpensive products provide blocking from 50% of radiation. All products that capture less than 50% of ultraviolet rays do not protect the eyes from their negative effects. Often they are used only for decorative purposes.
Sometimes there is a marking that indicates the degree of protection immediately against UVA and UVB rays: “Blocks at least 80% UVB and 55% UVA”. This means that the filter applied to the surface prevents the penetration of up to 80% of UVB rays and up to 55% of UVA rays. Doctors advise choosing products where both indicators are above 50%.
In addition, there is another option for marking glasses:
- Cosmetic Optical products blocking less than 50% of UV radiation. These glasses are not recommended for use on days of solar activity, as they do not protect the eyes from the sun,
- General - universal products with UV filters that block 50 to 80% of UV rays. Such glasses can be used for daily eye protection in the city, at mid-latitudes,
- High UV-protection - models with reinforced UV filters that block almost 99% of ultraviolet radiation. They can be used on a bright sunny day in the mountains, by the water, etc.
How to choose sunglasses by the degree of darkness?
After you have decided on the degree of protection of the glasses from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, you need to select the level of their light transmission, or darkness. This parameter will determine how brightly you can perceive the world around you. Typically, this marking is located on the temperament of the glasses and consists of two components: the name of the model and the blackout indicator, for example, “Cat. 3 "or" Filter cat. 3 ".
Darkness classification of sunglasses:
- Marking (0). These products are almost completely transparent. It transmits from 80 to 100% of visible sunlight. Such glasses are recommended for use by athletes in training in the absence of bright light.
- Marking (1,2). This optics has a light transmission from 43 to 80%, as well as from 18 to 43% of the light, respectively. This is the best option for wearing in low to medium sunlight.
- Marking (3.4). Such glasses should be used in very bright sunshine.
In the hot summer period, optical products with a 2 and 3 degree of light transmission are the best choice for our latitudes. For use in the summer morning, as well as in the spring and autumn, models with a 1-2 degree of dimming are suitable. Points with an indicator of 4 are recommended to be worn by travelers in extreme conditions, for example, when conquering mountains.
It should be clarified once again that the degree of darkening has nothing to do with protecting the eyes from the adverse effects of ultraviolet rays. This indicator only affects the brightness of image perception and the wearing comfort of optical products.
Darkness and color
If the protection against UV rays should always be 100%, then according to the degree of comfort or darkness, that is, the ability to transmit light, all glasses can be divided into 6 categories:
- 0 - transparent or slightly darkened lenses that transmit 80-100% of the light, providing a minimum level of protection.
- 1 - they pass 43–80% of the light, suitable for use in cloudy weather, indoors, if for some reason this is necessary.
- 2 - pass 18–43% of the world and are suitable for driving and urban conditions.
- 3 - transmit no more than 18% of the light, suitable for use in bright light (beach, mountains without snow, sports or fishing in bright light). Approximately 90% of all points are issued with this filter.
- 4 - transmit 3-8% of the light, such lenses are used for specialized glasses for work, traveling high in the mountains, in glaciers.
- 5 - transmit less than 3% of the light, under normal conditions, practically nothing is visible in such glasses, mainly used for gas cutters and welders.
The degree of blackout can be determined by the corresponding marking on the arms or packaging: “Filter Category 1 (2,3,4,5)” or simply “Cat. 1 (2,3,4,5). "
For eye safety, the degree of protection against UV radiation is more important than the level of blackout. So, too dark sunglasses with a poor-quality filter can do much harm: dilated pupils let in more rays.
The darker the sunglasses, the more your pupils will expand, allowing more ultraviolet light to penetrate your eyes. And the longer the retina is exposed to unfiltered light, the higher the risk of macular degeneration.
Dr. James Diaz, Environmental Specialist and Anesthetist
Few people think that the color of the lenses affects not only the design and appearance of the glasses. Each shade has a certain functionality:
- black - muffle the brightness of colors, but do not distort shades, suitable for everyday wear,
- golden yellow, amber - block the blue color, especially good for cloudy weather,
- brown, orange, yellow - increase the contrast and clarity of visible objects, but distort the shades, generally suitable for everyday wear,
- purple and pink - almost completely (if there is no special coating) I pass ultraviolet, are usually used only for decorative models,
- gray and green - do not distort color reproduction, suitable for any conditions.
What other protection can glasses have?
Modern manufacturers of sunglasses make sure that their products are as comfortable, practical and durable as possible. Therefore, in addition to the ultraviolet filter, additional coatings are often applied to the surface of products.
- Polarizing filter. It fully blocks glare - rays reflected from horizontal surfaces (water, snowy fields, car bonnet, etc.),
- Anti-glare coating. Cuts off some types of sun glare, increasing comfort of use,
- Mirror coating. As a rule, it is applied to one degree or another on all points. Reflects visible sunlight, providing the eye with extra comfort,
- Abrasion resistant coating. Increases the resistance of spectacle lenses to mechanical damage (scratches, cracks, etc.),
- Melanin spraying. It is applied to the inside of the lens to prevent eye fatigue.
- Gradient coverage. Allows you to increase safety while riding. The upper, darker part of the lenses provides good visibility when the gaze is directed to the road. In turn, the light bottom of the lens contributes to a good view of the dashboard.
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Type of coating
Coatings are used to give the lens protective properties. In low-cost models, they are applied from the inside or outside, or from both sides, they are already introduced into the lenses of a more expensive coating segment at the stage of production of the lens. Here are the main types of coatings:
- Photochromic ("chameleon") - depending on the level of illumination, the lenses change color (in bright light they are dark, in the dark they are transparent). A universal option that suits all conditions.
- Polarizing - lenses block sun glare, suitable for those who drive and stay on the sea coast, on the water and in the mountains, where the lighting is especially intense.
- Gradient - lenses are only half-shaded, provide good contrast, especially good for drivers and for those who like to read and use mobile devices in bright light.
- Mirror - reflects most of the sunlight and glare, reduces eye strain, the best way to protect against very bright suns.
- Interference - multi-layer multi-colored coatings of thin films, due to which incredible optical combinations are created. Usually used in sports glasses, quickly scratched.
- Reinforcing - transparent films to protect against mechanical damage.
- Anti-sweat - prevents condensation of water vapor on the surface of the lens.
- Hydro / oil-repellent - repels water and oils, usually used in sports glasses. Such lenses are also suitable for humid climates and rainy weather.
- Corrective (Rx) - provides the effect of vision correction.
In lenses of an expensive segment, several types of coatings can be used at once.
Plastic is no worse than glass, it also has all the necessary properties. Plus, plastic is lighter than glass, respectively, and glasses will be lighter. For many years now, the whole family has been putting photochromic lenses in glasses. But we need diopters and we need sun protection. If without diopters, then it’s still easier.
I have chameleons, I use the second pair. The first couple was replaced because vision has changed. Yes, they are lighter than just sunscreens, but I don’t feel any discomfort. Probably depends on the lenses.
When selecting a frame, attention is paid to 2 indicators: the material from which it is made, and the shape.
The material from which the frame is made is, for the most part, a matter of taste. The main thing is to suit her appearance and be comfortable with glasses: they should not slide and put too much pressure on the bridge of the nose. Frames of modern glasses can be made of:
- plastic (cellulose acetate, propionate, carbon, nylon, optil) - such models are diverse in design, lighter, more flexible and less traumatic,
- metal - more durable and durable frames, on some models they look very stylish,
- wood, bones, tortoise shell - such models belong to a few premium segment and give an image of status, originality and solidity.
Выбор подходящей формы оправы зависит от индивидуальных особенностей лица. Вот общие рекомендации от стилистов:
- края очков могут лишь незначительно (не более 1,5 см) выступать за края лица,
- обладательницам широких лиц не стоит выбирать массивные оправы,
- тонкие черты лица (узкие губы и переносица) — «противопоказание» к покупке моделей, инкрустированных россыпью камней,
- на лицах с пухлыми губами и широким носом очки с тонкой оправой «потеряются».
Таблица: выбираем форму оправы
|Особенности лица||Подходящие модели||Под запретом|
This information is advisory. A form that should theoretically fit may not be practical in practice. Therefore, you need to measure your favorite options, you can take a picture of yourself on the phone and appreciate the look “from the side”.
When buying glasses, it is best to give preference to trusted manufacturers with a good reputation. We offer an overview of the most popular.
Luxottica is an Italian company, a leader in the market for the production of glasses (approximately 52% of the world market belongs to them). This company owns the famous brands:
- Oliver Peoples,
- Alain Mikli,
- Mosley Tribes,
Luxxotica produces glasses under license for well-known brands: ARMANI EXCHANGE, DOLCE & GABBANA, CHANEL, MICHAEL KORS, GIORGIO ARMANI, PRADA, VALENTINO, VERSACE, etc.
Currently, the company develops and produces glasses in six factories in Italy, three in China, one in the USA and one in Brazil. Luxottica also owns one plant in India, which meets the needs of the local population.
Safilo is another Italian company known for brands:
Under license, produces glasses for HUGO BOSS, Dior, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Banana Republic, Max & Co, etc.
The company is distinguished by high quality products and services, the organization owns four factories in Italy, one in Slovenia, one in the USA and one in China.
I went to the optics store and was surprised to find that there are as many sunglasses as there are ordinary ones, that is, very many, my eyes just ran up, there was plenty to choose from. Different models, different prices, different quality. However, the consultant advised taking a closer look at Polaroid brand glasses. The price for them was slightly higher than for others, and I in disbelief asked her why she advises them. Is it because they are more expensive? But a competent consultant explained to me in detail why they are better. It turns out that Polaroid glasses are almost the only ones that use the polarization effect in the manufacture of lenses. Such lenses have a multilayer structure, inside which there is a special polarizing film that transmits only vertically polarized rays of light and blocks light rays reflected from horizontal surfaces (to be honest, this is school physics, the section is optics). As a result of this, reflected, glare rays do not interfere with the formation of a clear image on the retina. This is especially true for drivers if on the roadway in sunny weather there is a reflection of the rays that create an emergency on the road. It is also important for athletes involved in skiing or snowboarding, as the sun's rays are very actively reflected from the snow cover. Polarized sunglasses let in a much lower percentage of sunshine than usual, which provides greater visual comfort and additional protection of the cornea and retina from harmful exposure to ultraviolet rays. This effect is enhanced by additional UV filters covering the lenses of Polaroid glasses. In no case can sunglasses be called sunglasses without UV filters, because they not only do not provide any protection, but also harm. In darkening, the pupil expands significantly and passes much more harmful radiation to the retina than without darkening. Such exposure to sunlight to a healthy eye can lead not only to burns, early cataracts and optic dystrophy, but also to the onset of retinal melanoma. Therefore, it is simply necessary to protect the eyes from sunlight, especially when they go almost vertically (i.e. in summer). All this was told to me by a consultant and, for the sake of plausibility, I gave me an opportunity to try on glasses and look into the device in them and without them, so that I could feel the polarization effect on myself. This is really something incredible! Without glasses, there were many beams of reflection inside the device’s camera, and in the glasses you could just see the inner surface of the camera. So the polarization effect was not fictitious. Despite the impressive cost, I purchased the glasses I liked most from Polaroid, and for several years now I have been wearing them with pleasure.
De Rigo Vision SpA
De Rigo Vision SpA is another representative of Italy. Known as the manufacturer of the acclaimed brands Police, Sting and Lozza.
Under license, they produce glasses for the brands Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Trussardi, etc.
The company is constantly expanding its portfolio of brands and, despite the scale, it still remains a family business.
An Italian company that sells about 14 million points a year, producing goods for well-known brands: Balenciaga, COVERGIRL, Viva, GANT, Roberto Cavalli, Swarovski and others.
Products are presented in 127 countries and owns 161 branches. And the company began as a manufacturer of high-quality metal earhooks coated with clad gold.
Marchon is a United States company engaged in the production of glasses for famous sports and fashion brands: Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Columbia, Liu · Jo, Nike, Chloé, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc.
The manufacturer has regional offices in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Hong Kong. The largest design centers are located in the USA and Italy, and additional ones are located in Japan and China. Products are presented in more than 80 countries.
A French manufacturer known for his own brands C by L’Amy and L’Amy Paris and producing glasses for Balmain, Kenzo, Ann Taylor and others.
The company has 4 production bases and 13 divisions in different countries.
Here is a list of well-established manufacturers who manufacture glasses exclusively under their own brands:
After evaluating the above indicators, before you buy your favorite model, you need:
- consider the color of the lenses - it should be uniform, otherwise the quality of radiation absorption will suffer, and the eyes will get tired,
- open and close the arms several times, it is easy to bend glasses: a high-quality frame should quickly restore shape,
- check the strength of the cogs
- ask the seller for the product passport: if there is a reference to the European standard 89/686 / E and EN ISO 12312–1: 2013, the American ANSI Z80.3 or the Australian AS1067, the glasses can be considered high-quality.
It is recommended to buy sunglasses in salons and optical departments with a good reputation and in online stores that are official suppliers of trusted brands and can provide relevant certificates. It is not recommended to purchase an accessory in markets and trays, Chinese sites: the probability of acquiring a fake is very high.
Now the opportunity to run into a fake has increased significantly. And expensive salons are not a reason to relax. In general, they stopped buying optics in Russia. Either duty free, or there. Met fakes of the original level. License plates make their way through the catalog, with all the upgrades. Yes, I'm shocked.
Properly selected sunglasses protect against ultraviolet radiation, provide comfort when in bright light, correspond to the lifestyle and transform the look of its owner.
How much light does it transmit?
There are several types of sunglasses released by the amount of light transmitted.
5 types of sunglasses protection:
- 0 - transmits 80% of the light, suitable for a cloudy day, early spring,
- 1 - transmits 43-80% of the light, suitable for the middle band and not very bright sun,
- 2 - transmits 18-43% of the light, it is recommended for our climate, if there is a lot of sunlight,
- 3 - transmits more than 18% of the light, suitable for resorts, coastal areas where the sun is more aggressive, more light,
- 4 - transmits 3-8% of the light, suitable for the sunniest resorts, mountain hikes, gives maximum protection for the eyes.
When choosing points, pay attention to the following nuances:
- Do not be afraid of polymers, but choose only high-quality, expensive glasses. If you are afraid to buy a fake - take it with glass lenses, there is less danger of buying low-quality goods.
- Choose neutral colors so that they do not tire during the day.
- The degree of protection, depending on where and how much you plan to wear glasses.
- A plastic frame is lighter, a metal frame is more elegant and "more expensive" in appearance. Choose based on your preferred eyeglass model.
- The shape of the lenses depends on your preference, but they should be large enough to cover your entire eyes. Wide arms that protect the eyes on the sides are also preferred.